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Booker agrees to become new El Cerrito basketball coach

Former Kennedy boys basketball coach Michael Booker has agreed to become the new head coach at El Cerrito.

“Ultimately, I had done as much as I could at Kennedy and it was time for me to move to a different situation and for them maybe to get a different perspective of coaching down there,” Booker said. “The bigger thing was all year long they were talking about closing the school. It was time for me to move on.”

Booker succeeds Rod Battle, who was not retained at the end of the season according to El Cerrito athletic director George Austin. Booker, who is also a lieutenant for the Richmond Police Department, coached for six seasons at Kennedy. The Eagles were 111-69 under Booker, reached the North Coast Section playoffs all six years, and reached the California Interscholastic Federation Northern California regional playoffs in 2008.

“I definitely want to thank (former principal Julio) Franco for giving me the opportunity to coach there and (current principal Latoya) Williams and the administration for supporting me as much as they could knowing all the turmoil with the school,” Booker said.

Booker said he informed Kennedy’s administration of his decision to step down as coach of the Eagles just over two weeks ago. He inherits an El Cerrito team that he said should return just two players from last year’s varsity squad.

Ben Enos