Over the past decade as the head
coach for Cornerstone University basketball, Kim Elders has established himself
as one of the top coaches at the National Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics (NAIA) Division II level. During that time, Elders averaged 27
victories (four seasons with 30 or more), took his teams to four Final Fours, three
Elite Eights, one Sweet Sixteen and captured the National Championship once in
begins his eighteenth season at the Cornerstone helm, has a career record of
425-179. Elders' teams have averaged 25 wins per year since he took over the
program in 1993. His victories and winning percentage (.704) rank number one at
the school. Since the 1995-96 campaign when the Cornerstone program began to
establish national-level status, Elders has garnered several coaching awards,
including: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Coach of the Year (1996,
'99,'05 and 2010), NAIA National Coach of the Year (1999), National Association
of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Coach of the Year (1999), and Basketball
Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Coach of the Year (1999). Elders also
earned National Coach of the Year in 1996 in the National Christian College
led the Golden Eagles to five regular season conference championships (1996,
'99, 2005,'07 and ‘10). His teams have
played in 12 consecutive (13 of the last 14) WHAC Championship playoff games,
capturing the title six times (1999, 2001, '02, '04, '06 and ‘10).
tenure, CU has been in the NAIA Top 20 in ten different seasons. In 1999, 2003
and '06, Elders' teams held the no. 1 rank in the national poll for several
weeks. He has coached eighteen Academic All-Americans, 38 All-Conference
players and eighteen All-Americans.
different occasions Elders has taken his teams overseas on mission's trips. The
first one was in 1998 to the Philippines.
Two years later they spent three weeks in Singapore, ministering and putting on
basketball 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. This past
spring the team traveled to the Dominican Republic where they played games, put
on clinics and also were involved in different building projects.
trips were the highlights of my career," said 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 events for all of us."
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 spent 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.
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.
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
coaching, Elders' other responsibilities at Cornerstone include associate athletic
director and professor in the kinesiology department.
lives in Ada with his wife Holly and four step-children: Nic (22), Zac (20),
Cam (18) and Missy (15).
Assistant Coach - 6th Season
Eric DeSantis begins his sixtth season as a Golden Eagles assistant coach.
He completed his undergraduate work at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, Ill.) in
2003 with a degree in family ministries. While at Moody, he played three
seasons on the men's basketball team. DeSantis was named Most Valuable Player
after his senior season. He also led his team on mission trips to both Egypt
and Alaska. DeSantis received his master of arts in counseling from Cornerstone
in December of 2005.
DeSantis' responsibilities include recruiting and working with CU's post
Assistant Coach - 2nd Season
Dennis Graham enters his second year as the head junior varsity men's
basketball coach and varsity assistant coach at Cornerstone. He will also serve
as the recruiting coordinator. He completed his undergrad work at Cornerstone University
in 2005, majoring in elementary education, while having a double minor in
English and history. During his time at Cornerstone, he was involved with the
basketball program for three years as a student manager.
As a coach, Graham has several years of experience in many different realms
of coaching including head coaching stints at Vestaburg High School where he
was the varsity girls' basketball coach as well as the junior varsity boys'
coach and coached both boys' and girls' basketball at Sparta Middle School. In
2004, Graham coached one season of American Athletic Union (AAU) basketball
with the Grand Rapids Storm 16U team and last year served as a volunteer
assistant at Alma College.
Currently, Graham is working toward his master's degree in business management
Assistant Coach - 15th Season
Lance Roark has been an integral part of Cornerstone's basketball success
for 19 years - three as a player and 16 as the junior varsity or assistant
coach. As a player, Roark is still considered one of the best point
guards to put on a Golden Eagles uniform. During his senior year, he
established a single season record when he dished out 243 assists - a record
that still stands to this day. To go along with his 7 APG, Roark also averaged
15 PPG and 7 RPG, which earned him First Team All-Conference honors. He was
equally successful in the classroom, maintaining a 3.3 GPA and was named to the
WHAC All-Academic Team that same year.
After graduating from Cornerstone in 1994, he received his master's degree
in educational leadership at Grand Valley State University in 2001. He
currently teaches language arts and physical education classes at Sparta High
School in Sparta, Mich. He has served in the Sparta district as the
varsity basketball coach, junior varsity soccer coach, and assistant baseball
coach at various times since 1995.
Roark's responsibilities include recruiting, working with Cornerstone's
perimeter players and alumni relations.
He is married to Jodi Hillaker Roark (CU '96) and has two daughters:
Alexandra (11) and Avery (7).