Over the past couple of seasons, we haven’t heard much from the De Anza High boys basketball team. I have a hunch that’s going to change in the near future. The Dons took a big step forward this week, hiring former Pinole Valley coach Mark DeLuca to take over the program.
Here’s a little background. DeLuca stepped down at Pinole Valley in 2007 so he could spend more time focusing on his new job as dean of students at Salesian. Also, his son Mark was attending Salesian and playing sports, so that was a perfect time to step away.
This past season, DeLuca made his way back to the bench as co-head coach at Pinole Valley with his good friend, Anthony Geddins.
What’s interesting to me about this hire is that it seems to me to be perfect timing. DeLuca is a very accomplished coach, having led some really solid teams in his time at Pinole. De Anza has a new principal, and a new gym set to open in August. And, if you think back just a few years, the Dons have had success before. It’s not like there’s not talent there.
“I’m excited about having the chance to turn De Anza into an actual program,” DeLuca said. “… I think it’s a hidden gold mine for talent.”
Also, DeLuca said he’s excited about the potential for DA to be in a new 12-team league. The NCS Board of Managers votes on the proposal on April 18, and if it passes, De Anza will be part of one of the new “mini-conferences.”