Carson High names girls’ basketball coach
Doug Whisler, a history teacher at Carson Middle School, has been named Carson High girls basketball coach.
Whisler, who has 20-plus years coaching boys and girls basketball, replaces Melissa Larsen, who wasn’t re-hired after last season. Larsen compiled a 29-46 record in three years at CHS. Whisler is no stranger to Carson High, however. He served as head JV boys coach for six seasons under Bruce Barnes and Carlos Mendeguia.
Whisler has coached many of Carson High’s current varsity and JV players when they were at CMS, and he hopes that will smooth the transition. He said he’s already heard from current players and former CMS players after he got the job.
“I try to develop good relationships with the kids (at the middle school),” he said. “I think it will help. I’ve liked working with the girls (at the middle school). I haven’t met with the girls yet. We’ll do that in the next week or so.”
“He has a true passion for the game,” said former CHS boys basketball coach Carlos Mendeguia. “One thing Doug will bring is the passion, energy and excitement that has been missing. He is really a dedicated person. He has run the junior high program for years, so he knows how to run a program.”
Whisler said he already has a list of potential assistant coaches.
One of the things Whisler is being tasked with is to change the culture of the program. The roster numbers have been small despite the fact Carson is one of the biggest schools in Northern Nevada, and the Senators have struggled.
Whisler said he will be out recruiting girls who for some reason have opted not to play at CHS.
“Doug and I talked about that the other day,” Mendeguia said. “There are some good female athletes walking the hallways at Carson who specialize in volleyball or some other sport and don’t feel they can do both or coaches won’t let them do both. He has to search them out and get them involved.
“Basketball is a skill sport. You have to put the time in. It’s a two-way street. The girls have to want to do it as well. That (time commitment) has to happen to be successful.”
And, commitment has been an issue at CHS. Too many girls don’t want to play the sport other than when it’s in season, and that’s one reason why Carson has struggled on the court.
Whisler said he plans to keep players busy playing in spring and summer leagues and tournaments. At CMS, he ran camps and had open gyms four days a week. Players from CMS, Eagle Valley and CHS would come over and play.
“What kids aren’t playing travel ball in Reno, I want to take to Sacramento and play in a couple of tournaments,” Whisler said.
The only two current varsity players playing travel ball are Lily Bouza and Abby Golik.
Whisler saw nearly all of Carson’s home basketball games, boys and girls, last season.
“They had a really tough year,” Whisler said. “They had a lot of injuries. It was a tough year for them.
“We’re going to be small this year. We are going to have to play small ball. We need to get better in all areas. We want to play up tempo and set the pace. We need to defend and run when we can.”