Over the past fourteen seasons as the head coach for Cornerstone University basketball team, Kim Elders has established himself as one of the top coaches at the NAIA Division II level. During that time, Elders' teams have averaged 27 victories (five seasons with 30 or more wins), appeared in three Final Fours, gone to three Elite Eights and had one Sweet Sixteen appearance. Elders guided two of his Golden Eagle teams to the pinnacle - capturing the National Championship in 1999 and 2011.
Elders, who begins his twentieth season at the Cornerstone helm, has a career record of 478-195. He is currently 8th on the NAIA D-2 victories list. His 26 national tournament victories ranks #2 among all Division II coaches. Elders' teams have averaged 25 wins per year since he took over the program in 1993. His victories and winning percentage (.716) rank number one at the school.
Since the 1995-96 campaign when the CU program began to establish national- level status, Elders has garnered several coaching awards, including: WHAC Coach of the Year five times ('96, '99, '05, '10 and ‘11), NAIA National Coach of the Year twice ('99 and '11) NABC National Coach of the Year ('99), and BCAM Coach of the Year ('99). Elders also earned National Coach of the Year in 1996 in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Elders has led the Golden Eagles to six regular season conference championships ('96, '99, '05, '07, '10 & ‘11). Prior to the 11-12 season, Elders' teams played in thirteen consecutive WHAC Tournament Championship games. The Golden Eagles have been in fifteen of the last seventeen title games. During that stretch, Elders' teams have captured the WHAC tournament title seven times ('99, '01, '02, '04, '06, '10 & ‘11).
During his tenure, CU has been in the top 20 eleven times. During three separate seasons (1999, 2002 and 2005), Cornerstone held the #1spot in the national poll for a period of time. Elders has coached twenty-three Academic All-Americans, forty-two All-Conference players and twenty-one All-Americans.
On five different occasions Elders has taken his teams overseas on mission's trips. The first one was in 1998 to the Philippines. Two years later the team spent three weeks in Singapore, ministering and putting on clinics. In 2003, the team took a 12-day trip back to the Philippines, sharing the Gospel in many of the areas they did four years earlier. In the spring of 2005, Elders led his team back to the Philippines - this time to the northern part of the country. The last Elders led mission's trip was in 2010 to the Dominican Republic where the team helped build on an addition at a Christian school.
"All of these trips were the highlights of my career," says Elders. "To use the abilities that God has given us to help further His kingdom is an opportunity not everyone gets. They were life-changing experiences for all of us."
Elders began his coaching career in 1981 at Grand Rapids Baptist Academy, leading the JV Mustangs to a 70-29 record in five seasons. The next four years he was at Freedom Baptist Academy where he guided that athletic program during its inaugural years. He served as Athletic Director and Boys basketball coach during that time.
Arriving at Cornerstone in 1990, Elders responsibilities included Assistant Basketball Coach and Head Baseball Coach. Three years later, he was named Head Basketball Coach, inheriting the team that went 8-24 the previous season.
Elders, a 1977 graduate of Grand Valley State University, earned a B.S. in Physical Education. In 1993, he received his M.A. in Athletic Administration from Western Michigan University.
Besides coaching, Elders also acts as Associate Athletic Director and professor in the Kinesiology Department.
Elders lives in Ada with his wife Holly and four step-children: Nic (25), Zac (22), Cam (20) and Missy (17).