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SoCalHoops Coaching News

HS Coaching Changes: New News
& Old News--(June 9, 2001)

There were several announcments this week of coaching changes, or rather new hires and some new vacancies, in and  around SoCal:

Corona del Mar:  Ryan Curry has been hired as the new boys' head basketball coach, replacing Paul Orris who retired at the end of the season after 15 years at the helm.   Curry spent the last seven years at Nevada Union in Grass Valley.  He will also teach English at CdM.  Orris intends to take at least one season off from coaching, but with the hiring of Curry, it could be more. Curry, 35, coached Nevada Union to a record of 26-6 and the Sac-Joaquin CIF Section Semfinals this season after a Quarterfinal run the year before.  Nevada Union was 120-80 under Curry's leadership. Curry also played at Chico State for four years and then played pro ball in France for one year. His sister is Denise Curry, a three-time All-American at UCLA, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, and a former coach at Cal State Fullerton.

Ontario HSRichard Johnson, a 25-year old former player and assistant coach at Rancho Cucamonga HS with no prior varsity coaching experience, was selected this week as the new head coach at Ontario HS, replacing Jerry De Fabiis, who resigned last month with plans to take the head coaching job at Claremont following Jeff Klein's vacating that job for the head coaching job at Chaffey College.  DeFabiis later dropped out of the Claremont and decided not to return to the Ontario head coaching position in order to complete some missing credits to obtain his full teaching credential. Johnson told the LA Times:  "I'm elated for this opportunity. The type of style I want to bring to [Ontario] is an attacking, pressure type of game. I want to control the tempo of the game on the defensive side and run a little on offense. We'll play the transition game, but our offense will come as a result of taking care of what we need to do defensively."  In the last three years under DeFabiis, Ontario has had a 68-19 record, impressive by anyone's standards, and they've won two Mt. Baldy League titles, advancing to the Division I-AAA semis this season.  Johnson was a three-year starting point guard at Rancho Cucamonga from 91-94 and was a walk-on for one year at Arizona State, according to the LA Times. He then transferred to Chapman College where he played three seasons, and then assisted Rancho Cucamonga boy's coach Bill Moyer in the summer.

Upland HS:   Vacating the Fontana job,   and having turned down the Claremont job after his friend Jerry DeFabiis withdrew his name from consideration, John McNally will now become the new head boys' basketball coach at Upland HS, replacing Jeff Klein (see above) who took the Chaffey College job at the end of the season.  McNally will start the new position next week. He is expected also to teach P.E. and government at Upland.   Last season Upland won the I-AAA CIF Southern Section title, but graduated a ton of seniors including University of Nevada signee Kirk Snyder, but the cupboard isn't completely bare and they have some very interesting and talented players returning, including Tye-Juan Hatter who has been on the varsity for the past two seasons . . . and hey, maybe Aaron Gipson can transfer again. . . McNally told the LA Times about his decision to move to Upland:  "It was one of those things. I was looking for someplace I felt had certain things. I wasn't going to go into any job just to take a job. Upland fulfilled the commitment level I was looking for. They have a strong commitment to both academics and athletics and the kids -- both students and athletes. From everyone I talked to, and from talking to Guy and [Athletic Director] Jim [Drake], it was something I felt was the right thing." According to the LA Times' account of the hiring, Steve Hebert, the head coach at Don Lugo was also a candidate for the job at Upland.

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