Who will be coach? | NevadaAppeal.com

Who will be coach?

ERICK STUDENICKA

Although it might have seemed that Tom Andreasen had been coaching the Carson high basketball team forever (or at least for two stints dating back to 1972), everyone knew Andreasen couldn’t continue very far into his second millennium as the Senators’ coach.

Even so, Andreasen surprised more than just his players when he announced earlier this week that he was resigning as Carson’s basketball coach.

Most people felt that the coaching tandem of Andreasen and assistant coach Mike Longero would continue at least through the end of next year. The duo seemed sure to remain because of Cody Longero, who is Mike Longero’s son and will be one of the top players in Nevada next season in his senior year.

But Andreasen said there was just too much conflict between the basketball job and his duties as athletics director for him to continue.

Which now opens up the position, which in comparison makes the mayor’s job seems easy and under-scrutinized. There will be more politicking for the coach’s job than there was in the last Nevada senatorial race.

First, the job will be open up through the district, which will limit the number of candidates. If no suitable candidate is found within the district, the job will open up to outside candidates.

Since this is Nevada, and there are odds posted for everything from whether Mike Tyson will get arrested this month to who will score the first free throw in the NCAA basketball championship, here are the current odds of some of the names sure to come up in the debate over who should become the Senators next coach.

Here are the candidates within the district:

— Mike Longero (No line) – Longero, the current Carson assistant and one of the best-known Senator alums after leading Carson to the state title in 1975 and starring at Nevada, would be the obvious choice to become the next coach.

There’s one catch: he doesn’t want the job. It’s understandable, as he’s already has the time-consuming duty of being one of Carson’s co-coaches for cross country and would probably like a versatile schedule in the future to follow Cody’s collegiate career.

— Rob Streeter (2/1) – Streeter, the Senators’ junior varsity coach who concluded last season with a 24-2 record, is the early favorite to get the job. He’s young, enthusiastic and popular among the players. He would have a big advantage over other candidates because he’s already familiar with the junior varsity players stepping up to varsity next year. He has also coached the majority of the returning varsity players earlier in their careers.

The biggest knock against Streeter would be his inexperience as a varsity head coach. But Billy Donovan didn’t have Division I experience either when Florida hired him

— Todd Ackerman (5/1) – Ackerman, as the former coach at Lovelock and a former assistant coach with Carson, has the credentials to become the coach. Unfortunately for Ackerman, he was the assistant coach during the Lyle Damon era of Carson basketball (Damon’s contract wasn’t renewed after failed to get the Senators into the zone playoffs in the 1998 season), and that will always be a negative factor against him.

Plus, he has infused some new energy into the Carson track and field team this spring as that squad’s new head coach; he has done such a good job with the track team, the Carson administration might be reluctant to risk losing him as the track coach. There are far more applicants for basketball coach than there are for track coach

— Ric Garcia (10/1) – After taking Dayton High from the depths of the 3A league to the state playoffs in the span of a few years, Garcia has shown that he would be an ideal candidate for the Carson job. He quit the Dayton job just a few weeks ago and said he would be “exploring his options.”

He said Wednesday he was not interested in the head coaching position at Carson, but that he might entertain an assistant’s position. There are some rumors that he could be swayed from his original disinterest in the head coaching vacancy, though

— District Field Bet (20/1) – The name that arises most as a potential candidate is Bruce Barnes, who works in the education program at the prison. The Carson grad, who was a basketball standout in the early 1980s, has been assisting Eric Swain at McQueen. And why not throw Paul Croghan into the mix, who was an assistant to Andreasen for the 1975 state-championship season? (And don’t leave out current girls JV coach Pat Beckwith, whom the Appeal would back simply because he calls in his results like clockwork.)

Here are the candidates from outside the district. Remember, they are candidates only if the Carson administration can’t find a suitable candidate from within the district:

— Tom Orlich (3/1) – If the job opens to outside applicants, Orlich, the South Tahoe coach since 1975, would become a leading candidate for the job. Orlich has unparelleled credentials: he’s the winningest active coach in the Northern 4A with 522 wins and his Vikings just won the zone title in February. South Tahoe has won nine zone championships and two state titles since the Vikings changed their athletic membership from California’s CIF to Nevada’s NIAA in 1982.

One reason Orlich might be interested in the Carson job is the simple fact Carson City’s weather would allow Orlich to escape the snow zone, an important factor for a family with interests in softball.

Orlich, who said he learned of the resignation from Andreasen on Wednesday, said he wouldn’t even speculate as to whether he would apply if the job opened up to outside applicants. He also said he believed the Carson job would be filled from within the district.

“It is a moot point because it is not open,” Orlich said. “It is also a moot point because there will be good candidates within the district.”

A stumbling block for Orlich might be the affect of an interstate transfer on employment benefits such as retirement ….

— Adrian Buoncristiani (100/1) – Buoncristiani was interested in the Carson job when it was vacant in 1995, after Pete Padgett took over at Reno High and before Damon was hired. The former Gonzaga coach was considered, but there was a differing opinion on what his son Lance’s role with the team would be during his freshman season.

Buoncristiani was passed over for the Carson job, and that decision has affected Carson ever since. Galena coach Tom Maurer called Buoncristiani and offered him an assistant’s job. Adrian accepted and son Lance Buoncristiani – now a scholarship player at Idaho – followed his dad to Galena, where the Grizzlies went on to win three straight zone titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Buoncristiani, who still lives in Carson City, probably won’t show too much interest in the job this time around because he spends most of his weekends on the road watching Idaho play.

— Tom Maurer (500/1) – Although it would be tough to get him to admit it, Maurer, a Carson resident and former Carson Middle School coach, is probably interested in the Carson job. But a huge rift exists between Maurer and the Carson administration, apparently stemming from the fact Lance Buoncristiani suited up for Galena rather than Carson during his high school career. Some people have also insinuated that Maurer has recruited out of his district for basketball players, although he has a clean record with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.

As far as bets go, hell has a better chance of freezing over than Tom Maurer has of getting the Carson job while Glen Adair is principal.

But people can’t really blame Maurer if he’s created a program that attracts good players to move into his district. If you were the parent of a basketball player with the resources to put your son in the position for a possible college scholarship, Galena might look like a good district to move into.

Maybe if Maurer were coaching the Senators, Carson City would also suddenly start looking like a good district to move into.

Whether you like him personally or not, you have to respect Maurer’s coaching ability. Galena has beaten Carson eight straight times. You know the old bastardized saying: “If you can’t beat him, maybe you should have him join us”

— Outside District Field Bet (1,000/1) – Logical candidates in this group would include Dickie Allen (most recently of Wooster), Pat Foster (most recently of Nevada) and Rick Pitino (soon to be most recently of the Boston Celtics). This bet’s a longshot, but there might be another Lyle Damon out there somewhere for Carson to hire

Erick Studenicka is a sports writer for the Nevada Appeal.