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Tolbert steps down after three playoff seasons

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

Nate Tolbert officially stepped down as Carson High School girls basketball coach following Wednesday night’s playoff loss to Reno High.

Tolbert, who coached at Whittell before assisting Todd Ackerman for several years at CHS, compiled a 37-40 overall record in his three-year stint. He made the playoffs all three years, including a second-place finish in the Sierra League in the 2012-13 season when he compiled a 13-11 record.

Tolbert cited family reasons for his decision to step down.

“My kids are starting to play rec basketball, and I want to be able to see them play, or even help coach them,” Tolbert said. “I didn’t get to see a single game this year.

“I have no regrets other than the fact that our season was over. I think the program is going in the right direction. We made several changes at the lower levels the past few years. I’m not totally going away. I’m going to help with the transition; help with getting summer basketball organized. I’ll be around.”

Tolbert said his full-time job has no impact on his decision, though he admitted it was tough to juggle everything during the season.

“My company (Beneficial Design) was great,” Tolbert said. “I had a lot of early mornings and late nights. My company was always supportive throughout. They encouraged being involved in the community.”

Tolbert’s successor won’t be known right away, as the job must be posted within the district first, and then is opened up to outside people.

John Paulson and Doug Whisler, the current JV boys coach, are the most likely district candidates. Both coached Carson Middle School teams for many years. Melissa Larsen, Tolbert’s assistant, has indicated she’s interested in the position, but she declined comment other than that.

Paulson said via e-mail he gave it some thought, but has opted not to apply. Paulson’s daughter, Abby, will be a sophomore next year. She played freshman basketball this season.

“I am pretty sure Missy (Larsen) is going to get that job if she applies, which is understandable,” Paulson said. “I think she deserves a shot. I am getting the itch to coach again though, I would definitely be interested in helping in some type of capacity but I don’t even know if anyone would approach me.”

Whisler had not made a final decision as of Thursday, but said he’s interested.

Larsen played on the powerhouse teams in the 80s under Alana Williams. Tolbert believes she’s more than qualified to take over.

“I think she would do a great job,” Tolbert said. “She knows the game, and she knows the team. She is in essentially he same position as I was when Todd left the program (being an off-campus coach). I’d been with the program for a few years.

“Missy has the ability to say ‘you’re going to do it anyway.’ I’m more of a bleeding heart.”

Larsen’s specialty is working with post players, and whether it’s during a practice or game, she’s always instructing. Larsen, who played at Saint Mary’s College, often has taken players aside when they have come out of a game, and she’ll be showing them the proper way to do things while action is happening on the court.