By Ray Hamill — According to someone who knows them better than anyone else, the Fortuna Huskies are the early favorites for next year’s Big 5 in boys basketball.
After leading the team to a pair of conference championships in just three seasons, Tony Miles stepped down as head coach of the team after this past season.
But Miles leaves the team in great shape, and he’s confident their recent success will continue in his absence.
“This group of boys, they’re all juniors. We’re not losing anybody and they’ve been working really hard,” Miles said. “I expect big things from them. I really think it’s their league to lose (next year).”
Miles, who also served as the JV coach for two years, says he’s grateful for all the support he received, from the coaching staff to the administration and the community.
“The last three years, the staff was just amazing, and the support of the community was amazing,” he said. “The school administration was amazingly supportive.”
After winning a share of the Big 5 title in his first year in charge of the varsity team, Miles and the Huskies enjoyed a season for the ages a year ago when they finished 30-3.
The Fortuna fab four of Drew Gillette, Zac Claus, Bradley Willis and Donald Willis all contributed on that team’s success and have since gone on to great success playing for College of the Redwoods, a jump that Miles helped prepare them to take, both as their varsity and JV coach.
And their former coach says he enjoyed watching them play this winter, as captivated by their historic season as much as anyone else here on the North Coast.
“I got to watch lots of games, and they played amazing,” he said. “They play unselfish, they play hard and they have a high basketball IQ.
“And it was fun to watch. The community, we haven’t had that much community support. It was fun for everybody.”
Miles says his reasons for stepping down are to spend more time watching his daughters play basketball after largely missing out on their games with the commitment of bing a varsity head coach.
This spring and summer he will continue coaching his very successful Team Beasts AAU eighth-grade girls team.