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Willson steps down as basketball coach at Cal High

After 11 seasons as the boys basketball coach at California High, Cary
Willson has decided to step down.

“I’ve missed out on a number of things, some of my kids’ events, and
decided its a good time to take a break,” said Willson, who has three
kids ages 10, 7 and 5. “I definitely want to get back into coaching at
some point, maybe as an assistant.”

During Willson’s tenure at Cal, the Grizzlies claimed three East Bay
Athletic League titles and qualified for the North Coast Section
playoffs seven times. Cal was eliminated in the first round of the NCS
playoffs by James Logan on Tuesday.

“The relationships I built with the players are very important to me,” Willson said. “I really respect the fact that a lot of ex-Grizzlies come back to see me and keep in touch.”

Before coming to Cal for the 1999-2000 season, Willson coached for
five seasons at Moreau Catholic, the last three as varsity coach. He
will continue to teach Physical Education at Cal.

“(Willson) is a great human being who brought a lot of energy to the
school,” Cal Principal Mark Corti said. “We’re losing a great one.”

Corti said the position will be posted soon and he hopes to have a new
coach in place by the beginning of April.

Kyle Bonagura

Kyle Bonagura is a Pleasanton-based prep sports writer for the Bay Area Newsgroup-East Bay.

  • Donut

    Wilson with one L? I seen that before? who was coach willis?

  • George

    Number of league titles in Cal High history prior to Coach Willson- zero
    Number of league titles after Coach Willson- three

  • Mackie

    He has a lot of “L” in him!

  • William

    They should hire that boys Freshman Coach at Livermore High. He did great things with that team and is a great AAU coach as well.

  • Patrick

    A rare personality. Totally committed, totally open, totally honest. Cal really does lose a great one. Make the replacement a one year temporary spot!

  • Joe

    William- Are you kidding me?
    The Livermore frosh coach did not have a handle on his guys. He had a lose cannon as a point guard and his dad was always berating the kid and team.
    I’m glad you are not on the hiring committee for this job!

  • Donut

    Cal High boys basketball is nothing without the talent they’ve been lucky to have the past 3 league titles. DLS and one of the Pleasanton/Danville schools, when with that large student body gets talent will be the top team next year.

  • Prep Fan

    Donut, I’m not quite sure what you were trying to say above. Are you saying that Coach Willson was just lucky to have had talent in the 3 years his teams won the EBAL title? He gets the most out of the talent he has. If you saw this year’s team play, the first thing you would notice is the lack of talent. Aside from Dylan Heath, they really didn’t have a scoring threat and they were undersized, especially after losing all 3 of their football players during the year. Yet, they managed to play outstanding defense and were very competitive, playing both co-champions SRV and DLS to within 7 points and beating every other EBAL team at least once in route to a 3rd place finish. Not many coaches could have accomplished that with the personnel he had to work with. Not to say they weren’t athletic, but he got them to play hard and aside from a couple of games, were very competitive all year.

    What does “DLS and one of the Pleasanton/Danville schools, when with that large student body gets talent will be the top team next year” mean? Half the 8-team league is either a Pleasanton or Danville school. Picking DLS to finish first or the Livermore schools not to finish first is not exactly going out on a limb.