LINDSBORG — Rhys Pihl, one of Smoky Valley High School’s greatest basketball players and a former Bethany College standout, has been added to the Swedes’ women’s basketball coaching staff.
"We are very fortunate to be adding Rhys Pihl to our coaching staff," Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. "Rhys will help us in a variety of ways, both on and off the court. She was an excellent player at both the high school and collegiate levels and will be a valuable asset in terms of scouting, game planning, recruiting and player development. The fact that she is a Lindsborg native will also benefit the program as we look to strengthen our connections with the community and increase the scope of our host family program. I am excited for our program and for our players and I look forward to working with Rhys and the rest of our coaching staff during this upcoming season."
Pihl graduated from Smoky Valley in 2008 after a prolific career. She was a three-time unanimous All-League selection in both basketball and volleyball, and was named All-State in basketball her junior and senior years.
She played for the Swedes from 2008-2010, Fort Hays State University from 2010-2011, and Kansas Wesleyan University from 2011-2012.
"It is exciting to join the Bethany basketball program and the coaching staff," Pihl said. "I look forward to being part of the rebuilding process. I would like to thank Bethany College, Dean of Athletics Dane Pavlovich and head coach Brett Morehouse for the opportunity."
While at Bethany, Pihl was a unanimous first-team All-KCAC selection as a freshman and sophomore, leading the Swedes in scoring both years. She averaged 13.4 points per game as a freshman, and a KCAC-leading 18.8 points per game as a sophomore. In her two-year career at Bethany, Pihl scored 967 points.
As a junior at Fort Hays, Pihl appeared in 26 games, averaging 6.8 points per game and playing 17.2 minutes per game. She led FHSU in scoring in two different contests: Nov. 20 versus Nebraska-Kearney (17 points) and Jan. 5 versus Central Missouri (15 points).
Back in the KCAC her senior year at Kansas Wesleyan, Pihl averaged 8.7 points per game and 29.7 minutes per game. She tallied 92 total rebounds, 99 assists, and 44 steals.
Pihl has worked as a private basketball instructor, MAYB coach, summer league basketball camp instructor, and Bethany College and KWU basketball camp instructor. In addition, she was assistant manager and a certified lifeguard of the Lindsborg Swimming Pool from 2011-2012, giving both group and private swim lessons. Pihl has been a member of the Kansas National Education Association, the honor roll and a Salemsborg Lutheran Church youth group member.
Pihl graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, with an endorsement in special education, and is currently a kindergarten teacher at Cottonwood Elementary in Salina.
She is the daughter of Roger and Jill Pihl, and has two siblings, Jade and Greyson. Rhys and Jade played together while at Bethany. Pihl's grandfather, George Stephens, is a member of the Kansas Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame and coached at Bethany College for 26 years, in which Stephens Court in Hahn Gym is named after him. Pihl's mother and uncle also played basketball at Bethany.