VERSAILLES – After 14-years coaching girls basketball at Versailles, Lady Tigers JV girls basketball coach Kim Custenborder will be joining head coach Jacki Stonebraker on the sidelines for the 2019-2020 season with Stonebraker stepping down with the acceptance of the school’s high school principal position.
“It was an amazing run,” said Custenborder. “It is something that I’ll never forget and friendships with these girls that will last a lifetime.”
Custenborder was a part of two Lady Tigers’ state championship teams and two state runner-up teams as a coach.
Custenborder was coaching CYO basketball, a church program for students not playing school ball before Coach Stonebraker reached out to the College Basketball Hall of Famer about joining the Versailles coaching staff.
Custenborder accepted the invitation; coaching two years at the junior high level before taking over the Lady Tigers JV coaching job for the past 12-years, “and ever since we have been together,” Custenborder noted.
Custenborder, the wife of Pat Custenborder, VP at Phelan Insurance are the proud parents of two children, both Versailles alumni.
Connor, a 6’5” was a two year starter for the Versailles varsity boys program and Kelsey was a two-time Lady Tigers state volleyball champion as well as a state runner-up with the Lady Tigers basketball team.
“I wanted to go one more year,” Custenborder said of coaching. “I wanted 15 in or at least more than 15, but when Jacki made the decision that she was going to be the principal of our school and that she was no longer going to be able to coach, it made me stop and think a little bit about things.”
Custenborder grew up in Louisville,, KY where she was a member of her high school state championship softball team as well an excellent basketball player. With the passing of her father this past April it was time for her to evaluate her priorities.
“I lost my father in April and for a lot of years I put my team first which I wanted to do – my family loved and expected me to do,” said Custenborder. “It gave me the opportunity to evaluate things and look and say, ‘I probably need to spend some more time with my mom’.”
“Christmas time I would go home for 48-hours, I never went home for Thanksgiving because we were always playing in Greenville the next day in the tournament and now Tri-Village,” she continued. “Now it is giving me the opportunity to spend some more time with my mom and then of course my kids, then the business is growing so I need to be here.”
“Every day I was leaving at three o’clock and it seems like things go crazy at three,” Custenborder said of her business, Prosperity Promotions. “I would go to practice and have on my mind a lot of things that were going on and it is hard to keep all of it balanced.”
Prosperity Promotions was started 26-years ago by her father, Lou Byron after retiring from the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Sheriff’s Department.
“When I graduated from college wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” said Custenborder. “My father had retired and he had done this business years ago before he with the Sheriff’s Department. He got back into it and I joined him. We were in a 1,500 square foot building, had tons of catalogues, samples, did everything on paper and now 26-years later we are a corporation, we have our main corporate office in Louisville, KY. My brother has taken over the company and it is just amazing how it has evolved.”
“In the last four years I decided that I would like to get back into the business after a stint and working for non-profits and being a stay at home mom. I thought it would allow me more time with my coaching and my kids so I started it in my basement. After a year and a half I started to take over the basement so my husband and I found this building here on Warren Street in Versailles. We purchased it and things have been growing ever since.”
“We work with schools and businesses, non-profits, for profit businesses. We help with fund raising, hospitals, trucking companies – anyone who needs promotional products. It could be for their employees as gifts, marketing materials to get new customers or it could be as gifts for their customers. A lot of our customers are people who pass things out at the fair or other events. We are picking up our school business a lot right now. People can visit our web site at www.prosperitypromo.com and look on line for general information about what we do. As far as schools, we can set up an online store for them.”
Coach Custenborder is pleased to have coached under Versailles head girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker and is as well excited for her new position with the school system.
“I am very excited for Jacki,” stated Custenborder. “I am excited for her but I am more excited for our community because she is doing a wonderful job. Those things I talked about, time management, etc. she has taken those things right from the court into the school building, using that with her teachers and her students and I am already hearing wonderful things about her. Jacki is all in and it is what they are going to get from her.”
“Jacki was the type of coach that we were a team,” she added. “She was not a dictator. She would listen to what you had to say. She would funnel it and then do what she thought was best for the team, but she always encouraged her staff to give opinions and do things so it was always a situation where we could always work as a team.”
The list was long with the many people Coach Custenborder wanted to thank for her years of coaching, beginning with her family.
“Pat took on the role Mr. Dad during basketball season because I was rarely home,” she said. “I missed a lot of my kid’s stuff, I missed their junior high games but my kids understood that and my husband was right there with them, there was always someone there with them to watch them play. Pat always was there. He and Shane (Coach Jacki Stonebraker’s husband) are two of the best coach’s husbands there are out there.”
“I need to thank my kids because for many years they were the coach’s kids so they were looked at a little bit differently in the community,” Custenborder said. “It was harder on them than people probably think because they had to do the right thing at all times and kind of be evaluated by everybody. They worked hard. They were gym rats from when they were little and I just appreciate them being supportive of mom and letting me do that because it’s not always easy being the coach’s kid.
“Sometime coaching your own daughter was not fun because you were put under a microscope,” added Custenborder. “I had to be very careful about the way I handled her. I didn’t treat her any differently than I did any other girls. She probably was treated a little bit harder and she probably felt the pressure a little bit more to have to perform, but I think she handled it really well and turned out ok.”
With the exit of one Coach Custonborder, another Coach Custenborder will make his Versailles coaching debut.
“Super excited that Connor has joined the Lady Tiger coaching staff,” said Kim, Connor’s mother. “They were in need of a seventh grade coach where I started out at the junior high level. Tracy (White) asked me if I knew of anybody and I said I know a guy who is passionate about the game, loves that game and has a ton of knowledge about it so she contacted Connor and Connor is now the seventh grade coach. He is pretty excited about that.”
“I will miss it, I will miss it tremendously but I am also going to enjoy my time traveling back and for to Louisville and having extra time at the holidays and when Kelsi calls and needs something up at Heidelberg I can run and take it to her,” Custenborder concluded.
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330