Vance steps away as hoops coach

KINGMAN - Dave Vance, who has coached the Kingman High boys basketball team since 1997, knew it was going to take a lot of juggling when he took the KHS softball coaching job as well this season. The experiment was short-lived as the coach stepped down from his basketball coaching duties last week.

"It became pretty obvious that coaching two varsity sports at the 5A-level was difficult," Vance said. "When basketball was going on, I felt guilty about not giving the time that the girls needed for softball."

The boys team finished the season 11-18, with the last six decided by four points or less. For this reason, KHS athletic director Tim Casson is hopeful a quality coach will want to come and take over the program.

"We're pretty excited about the group that's coming back," Casson said. "They made progress at the end of the season and became very competitive."

Four of the five starters on this year's team will be back for KHS, which could be a solid foundation on which to build.

"We're hopeful to find someone in-house or from the outside with the skills and desire we want," Casson said. "I'm hoping it will be attractive to a coach who will come into a program that is pretty solidly on its feet."

KHS will post the position statewide, and though the school isn't adding any new teachers, there may be some openings due to attrition.

The result of Vance's departure is that the basketball team's loss is the softball team's gain.

"Dave does a real good job with our kids," Casson said. "He gets a lot out of them, works hard, and he's fair. He expects them to be dedicated to the program and put effort into it."

Coaching two varsity sports at the same time may make the decision to step down easier for most, but not Vance.

"It was a hard decision to make," he said. "We've got good kids coming back. It was pretty emotional when I told the kids. I didn't expect that kind of a reaction. I felt I could coach the two teams, but that wasn't fair to the kids."