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BUFF BASKETBALL

Manteca boys, girls coaches step down

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BUFF BASKETBALL

Manteca High boys basketball coach Dave Asuncion, left, during a gamer this past season.

HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo/


POSTED March 23, 2014 8:56 p.m.

Manteca High athletic director Dave Smith announced last Friday that the school’s varsity boys and girls basketball coaches have stepped down.

Dave Asuncion leaves the boys program after his 10th year at the helm, citing personal reasons. Cody Norman’s stint as the girls head coach ends after just two seasons. He and his wife are expecting their first child in May.

“Dave and Cody have done a great job with the basketball programs at Manteca High,” Smith said. “Hopefully with the new coaches we can continue to build on their work and improve.”

Smith said he hopes to begin the interview process next week.

The Manteca boys team is coming off a second-place finish in the Valley Oak League and a 19-9 overall record. Asuncion led the Buffaloes to league championships in 2009 and 2010 and three Sac-Joaquin Section postseason appearances. You Tube sensation Kiwi Gardner, who currently plays for the Santa Cruzz Warriors NBA Development League squad, starred on Manteca’s championship teams.

“It was a great experience to be a part of Manteca High basketball for 10 years,” said Asuncion, who compiled a 137-170 record. He started out as a lower-level coach and served as assistant under fellow East Union graduate Ron Inderbitzin before taking over in 2004-2005. Asuncion said he will continue to serve as girls golf coach in the fall while teaching physical education at the school.

Norman inherited a two-time defending VOL champion girls squad in the 2012-13 season. He continued Manteca’s reign that year, with help from McDonald’s All-American nominee Courtney Range (now at Cal).

“I loved coaching the girls and actually think we’ll have a great program over the next couple of years with the talent that is coming back,” Norman said.

With so much on his plate, however, Norman will not be able to see the rebuilding process through. Manteca went 7-20 this past winter season but its lower-level teams were highly successful.

Norman is a special education teacher at Manteca High but commutes from his home in Sacramento. He is also taking classes twice a week at the Teacher College of San Joaquin, and with the impending birth of his daughter something had to give.

“Unfortunately, basketball was getting the short end of the stick,” Norman said.

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