New coaches hired in girls basketball, wrestling

Gavin Chadwick, Assistant Sports Editor

Bryan Chadwick has been named the girls basketball coach and Kelly Heincker is the wrestling coach.

Heincker was an assistant under Bill Ross, who resigned after leading the Panthers to the Class 6A wrestling title in February. It was the Panthers’ second title since 2019.

Chadwick, a 32-year coaching veteran who replaces Dan Harrison, spent the past five years as the Derby North Middle School boys coach. Previously he spent four years as the boys coach at Wichita Northwest High School and more than 20 years as an assistant at Wichita Heights boys and girls basketball. While as a Heights boys assistant, he was a part of four straight Class 6A titles. As a Heights girls assistant, he helped return the program to the state tournament.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this great program,” Chadwick said. “The fan base is incredible, and the tradition of excellence is second to none.

“… My goal for the program is to one, play at a high level, and two, grow our sport. I want every girl in Derby to want to play basketball for us. Lastly, I want our program to be a family on and off the court.”

Heincker, a 2004 DHS grad, has coached with the Panthers’ program for the past 15 years, two in the middle school and 13 at the high school.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to continue serving the program in a new role,” he said. “I’ve been a Derby Panther my whole life, so I understand the tradition and responsibility of the role.

His goals for the program are pretty simple: keep winning.

“My goal for the program is to continue the tradition Coach Ross has spent the last 20 years building,” Heincker said. “If we provide boys and girls the opportunity to get better every single day, they will use the sport to become the best version of themselves on and off the mat.

“Consistently hitting that goal will open the door to accomplishing some great individual and team goals along the way.”