Paonia's Rienks to be inducted into coaches Hall of Fame

Paonia High School girls basketball coach Scott Rienks, right, will be inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame on March 28, 2020. Rienks has won three state titles in his career — two with the Eagles and one as the boys coach at De Beque.

The Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame will add some Western Slope flair with its 2020 class.

Legendary prep basketball coach Scott Rienks, who has led the Paonia girls for 13 years, was selected Tuesday along with Cherry Creek's Dave Logan, Fountain Fort Carson's Ben Montoya, Revere's David Rice and Lyons' Mark Roberts to enter the Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is March 28, 2020, at the Radisson Hotel Denver Southwest.

"It's a great honor," Rienks said. "I found out about it a few weeks ago. I've had a lot of great players and a lot of great assistant coaches."

Rienks graduated from Hayden High School in 1982 and earned his bachelor's degree from Western State College in 1992, the year before he embarked on his coaching career. His first stop solidified his plans to stay on the Western Slope, as he led the De Beque boys to a 93-63 record as head coach, including the Class 1A state championship in 1998.

He took over the Eagles' girls program in 2007 and brought two state title trophies to Paonia, winning the 2A crowns in 2010 and 2017. His record coaching girls is 469-115.

Paonia struggled last season, finishing 4-16, but the track record of the Eagles' coach suggests those losing ways won't be sticking around.

"A lot of my success has to do with the fact that the teachers taught them and the kids worked hard at their craft," Rienks said. "They strived for success with their work ethic. Last year was a down year for us, so we're working really hard to get back. It's about work ethic."

As he awaits his induction into the Hall of Fame and continues coaching the Eagles, Rienks is also facing the toughest challenge of his life. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in September and recently finished his fourth round of chemotherapy.

He'll travel to Denver for a scan on Dec. 14. He and his family are hopeful it will lead to good news.

"Hopefully, the scans go like we're anticipating, which is that I'll maybe have a little recession so they can get rid of the cancer in my liver," Rienks said.

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