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Sierra assistant set to lead Galt’s varsity girls

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POSTED May 16, 2009 2:25 a.m.
Manteca is losing a big part of its basketball family.

Sierra High varsity girls assistant basketball coach Johnny Aguilar was named the new head coach of the varsity girls program at Galt High this week.

Aguilar, a 1985 Manteca High graduate who played for the Buffaloes under head coach Steve Winter, has 23 years of basketball coaching experience including stints with Stagg, Linden and Long Beach.

Aguilar won a championship last season as the head boys 8th grade coach at George Komure school, going 15-0, and also guided Linden High’s sophomore girls to a Mother Load League crown in 1995.

Aguilar was the sophomore boys coach during Sierra’s first three seasons and led Ripon’s varsity girls team from 1999-2003.

Aguilar has coordinated the Manteca Unified Student Trust middle-school league’s Mary Ann Wallace-Pangburn All-Star Classic for the past two seasons, as well as the previous two seasons when the event was played under a different name.

“I have so many people to thank,” Aguilar said Friday. “Jack Wendell, Bill Davis, Steve Winter, Andrew Millard and Susan Sanders — their references were all key in me being hired at Galt.”

Aguilar was especially grateful for the role that Sierra athletic director, Greg Leland, has played in his life the past few years.

“Greg has been a big part of my life,” Aguilar said. “He played such an important role in where I’m at today.”

Aguilar, whose father was a head football coach, has always felt compelled to follow in his father’s footsteps. And although the head coaching job at Galt was too alluring to pass up, a sense of sadness comes with leaving behind a community he has thrived in for so long.

“I’m moving to Galt, but I’ll never forget what Manteca has done for me,” he said. “It’s been phenomenal, and I appreciate it. But this is a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

In Aguilar, Galt athletic director Greg Sloan gets a defensive-minded coach who sees big things for the future of Warriors basketball.

“Galt has a very good feeder program, and that’s very important at the high school level,” Aguilar said. “High school basketball has come a long ways. We’re going to work year-round.”
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