Keith Shimada / Special to the Home News
Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009 | 6 a.m.
Coronado's first-year girls basketball coach in no stranger to leading high school teams in Southern Nevada.
After five years manning Coronado's boys junior varsity team and a year with the girls junior varsity squad for the Cougars, Bill Crego and his 20 years of coaching experience has taken over the varsity squad.
Crego got his start in coaching in Arizona before assisting the Clark boys team to a state title in 1993 under coach Lee Koeliker — now Coronado's principal. Crego made stops at Silverado and Green Valley High before making his way to Coronado .
"You pick things up and adjust with each season," Crego said. "I think I'm more of a teacher and less of a yeller and screamer now and that's a lot more effective. I know how to deal with more situations — not that I've experienced everything, but I certainly have experienced a lot."
Crego did not plan to move back to varsity head coaching but when the position opened, he took the job at the urging of former coach Joe Moyes.
"I wasn't really looking to head coach again. I really just wanted to stay involved in some way," Crego said. "But it's tough for me to stay away. In the 20 years since I became a coach, I've only taken two seasons off and I was miserable."
Under Crego's direction, the Cougars are off to a 6-4 start. Crego praised the team's depth and said he is excited to see how they fare in Southeast Division play after the winter break.
"Our first five might not be as strong as some other schools, but we have nine or 10 girls that all contribute and can all play some serious minutes," he said. "We set our goal for the playoffs and we'll be very disappointed if we don't reach that."
Senior small forward Courtney Whitaker said the transition between coaches was smooth and aided by Crego assisting at practices last season.
"Coach Crego has a pretty different style of coaching but we adjusted really quick," Whitaker said. "We play more of a zone game, we push the ball more and just play at a faster pace."
Senior guard Stacy Rapp said Crego demonstrated early that he was invested in the team.
"I really feel like he cares about us and wants what's best for us," Rapp said. "He helps the seniors out with finding colleges and stuff."
Crego would like to see the team continue to stay aggressive in the fourth quarter and not allow their opponents to crawl back into the game. Coronado has also struggled with turnovers.
"I enjoy working with the girls team again because I think the girls game is more of a pure game," Crego said. "It's the way basketball is supposed to be played. It's a little slower paced, but girls come in with no preconceived notions of what they should be doing."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.