Put Me In, Coach


Boys and girls water polo, girls tennis and girls basketball have made coaching changes for their 2013-2014 seasons.
At the end of each sports season, coaches undergo a review with the athletic administration, during which they indicate whether or not they plan to return. According to athletic director Chas Doerrer, coaches choose not to return mainly because of the considerable time commitment and the difficulty of balancing coaching with other jobs.
After a coach announces he or she will not return, the selection process for a new coach begins. According to Doerrer, there is an interview panel with questions specifically tailored to assess applicants’ experience and coaching style.
Applications for a vacant coaching position are simultaneously made open to the public and district staff through Edline, though present TPHS coaches are occasionally approached for open positions.
Coach James Jack coaches JV boys tennis at TPHS, but has now replaced girls tennis coach Chris Numbers, since Numbers left TPHS for a job in New York, according to Doerrer.
The JV boys tennis season does not begin until February, so Jack has time to coach girls tennis and do private lessons.
“Girls varsity is my focus,” Jack said. “I know they are steeped in tradition as far as winning 23 years in a row, so the pressure is on to be 24.”
Jack has been involved in tennis for 36 years. He has experience in junior and professional tennis, having played for Trinidad and Tobago in 1993 in the Davis Cup — the largest international team event in mens tennis.
“We do a lot more running and conditioning, which is helpful,” varsity co-captain Kelsey Chen (11) said. “[Jack] is also a lot more laid-back and even plays music during practice.”
According to Doerrer, Numbers will likely be back to coach boys tennis when the season begins.
Former TPHS girls basketball coach Doug Gilbert was set to return to coach varsity girls basketball, replacing coach Dave McClurg, but due to health-related issues, Gilbert will no longer take the position, according to Doerrer.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Gilbert will be unable to coach this season,” Doerrer said. “We are in the process of selecting a new head coach for girls basketball and hope to have an announcement in the next few weeks.”
Although the basketball team is still waiting for a coach, the water polo teams are already adjusting to their new coach, Tim Reed.
“I like his coaching style,” player Haley King (12) said. “Tim is having us work together as a team the whole year. Our last coach was just like, ‘Okay, do your own thing’ [during the summer]. Tim [says we] have to be working together as a team, so [we] can do well the whole season.”
However, varsity boys player Bryce Kormylo (12) said that it is difficult to determine whether a coach is effective or not until the middle or end of the season.
“Different coaches have different coaching styles,” Kormylo said. “We just have to wait and see how the team ends up doing.”
The water polo teams have a whole new staff, since both the boys and girls coaches, Rob Tilburg and Heather Langridge, respectively, left for personal reasons.
Reed is “sticking with what [the water polo teams] have been doing for the last number of years,” but incorporating more fundamental exercises like passing techniques and conditioning.
While the athletic administration searches for a varsity girls basketball coach, the rest of the coaches hope to build on the success their teams have had in the previous years.
Numbers, McClurg, Tilburg and Langridge could not be reached for comment.