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Doll hired to take over Louisburg boys basketball program


Louisburg High School will have a new boys basketball coach next season as the school district hired Blue Valley North assistant Ben Doll earlier this month. It will be Doll’s first head coaching position after 24 years as an assistant.

Ben Doll has been a part of a lot of winning basketball over the last two decades.

Doll has patrolled the sidelines as an assistant for two state championship teams and has coached in numerous state tournaments over his 24 year career.

Now, he is ready is to bring that winning attitude and experience to Louisburg.

During the USD 416 Board of Education meeting earlier this month, Doll was hired as the new head coach for the Wildcat boys basketball program. He takes over for Ty Pfannenstiel, who spent six years in that role, before becoming the school’s new activities director last month.

This will be Doll’s first head coaching position after spending time as an assistant at St. Thomas Aquinas, Johnson County Community College, Lansing and Blue Valley North.

“I am really excited to get going,” Doll said. “It has been a long time coming. I have a lot of great experiences and I am ready to apply those things I have learned into this job. I am ready to put my own stamp on some stuff as well.”

Doll has been waiting for the right spot to start his head coaching journey and he found it in Louisburg. After talks with Pfannenstiel and his family, he realized Louisburg is the right destination for him.

“A little bit was opportunity and a little bit was Ty reaching out and getting me interested in Louisburg,” Doll said. “I have in-laws that used to live there and they told me it was a nice community. I just thought it would be a great place to go and get this first job. 

“Louisburg could be a sleeping giant in 4A. Judging by the guys we have coming back, there is some talent in the area. It is a situation similar to the one I had in Lansing. That appealed to me.”

Doll was an assistant at Lansing for eight years under Rod Briggs. He was on the Lions’ staff that made four consecutive state tournament runs and won the state title in that fourth year.

Prime Accounting

It is that continuity that Doll believes was one of the reasons for their success. It was the same type of thing he saw at Blue Valley North under head coach Ryan Phifer.

The Mustangs won the Class 6A state title in 2021 with a group of athletes that played together for several years and built a level of familiarity with each other.

“In both cases we had a group of kids that play a lot together,” Doll said. “They knew each other really well. With both teams, many of them had played in the state tournament before they actually won it. We went four years in a row in Lansing and it just built from there. 

“Blue Valley North was the exact same thing. They were friends that played club ball together and they were able to have success. The year during COVID, we were the last game before they shut the state tournament down. We had to tell them after the game and that was a huge heartbreak. We could have won the title that year too. The program just builds when you have continuity and you have to get a good group of kids together and play together over time. There is little luck too.”

Doll is looking forward to putting those winning aspects on the Wildcat program. He will also bring some changes with him as far as what playing style he would like to see on both ends of the floor.

“I want to play an up and down, running type of style,” Doll said. “I think players like that, and when done right, it is a good way to play. We don’t want half-court sets, grind it out type of basketball. We want to score quick if we can. Defensively we want to pressure with great man-to-man defense. You have to adjust to your players, but we would like to press if we can. Kids like playing that way and it is a fun style of basketball. We can get a lot of more kids in the game playing that style. Would like to have an 8-9-man deep rotation so we can shuffle kids in and out, so we can keep that pressure on.”

“At the same time, we want to build great young men and men of character. Sports can be an avenue to those challenges in life. In a community like Louisburg, there will be kids who look up to our players, so I want them to be good to the kids and community. We want to represent Louisburg well.”

Doll already had a chance to meet the returning members from last year’s team and also looked over some game film from last season. Although he is still trying to get to know this group, he is looking forward to the start of summer activities.

“It was nice to meet some of those soon-to-be seniors and put some names with faces,” Doll said. “I am really excited to get out on the court for our first team camp and that is when we will get to know each other. Get a basketball out there and start going at it.”

Along with the normal weekly camp in June, Doll is also offering another youth camp in early July for those interested in getting more work in and registration can be found here.

He has also created a new Twitter page and fans can follow the program @LHSWildcatBB