Larissa Founts-Bergerson has stepped down as head coach for the Sierra High girls basketball team to spend more time with her growing family.
Athletic director Andrew Lee announced her resignation in a press release Friday.
“We were very excited with the growth in the women's basketball program under Coach Founts-Bergerson's leadership,” Lee stated. “In addition to the competition, the athletes have been exceptional in the classroom and developed a strong presence among the student body. Larissa has an incredible passion for basketball, teaching and mentoring young women. We cannot thank her enough, and we wish her the best on the next chapter in her life.”
Founts-Bergerson was hired as Sierra basketball coach and physical education teacher in the spring of 2017. The Timberwolves have showed steady growth on the court under the tutelage of the 2005 East Union graduate. They became more competitve in the Valley Oak League, improving from 9-18 overall in Founts-Bergerson's inaugural season to 13-13 and then 15-13 with a postseason berth last year.
Founts-Bergerson has a 102-60 record in her career, which includes stops at her alma mater East Union as lower-level coach and as varsity coach for the now-defunct Excel Academy of Stockton. She has also served as an assistant at Modesto Junior College.
In two of her three seasons as Sierra coach, the girls basketball team earned the school's Scholar-Athlete Team Award for holding the highest GPA among the athletics programs on campus. Twenty-one of her student-athletes have earned the VOL Scholar-Athlete Award.
“I have enjoyed my three years as the head basketball coach at Sierra High School,” Founts-Bergerson said in the release. “I appreciate the great staff that I was able to gather along with some truly excellent student-athletes. There are some great girls who are ready to carry on the winning tradition that has begun at SHS. My focus now is being the best parent that I can possibly be.”
Lee added that the search for a replacement “will begin immediately.”
The timing is urgent in case restrictions on youth and high school basketball are lifted by the state health department amid the coronavirus pandemic. Under California Department of Public Health guidelines, basketball is not allowed in counties until they reach the least-restrictive yellow tier of the state's four-step reopening plan. Most counties, including San Joaquin, remain in the most-restrictive purple tier.