California High School's Jason Van Duyne is certainly hoping so.
The longtime assistant coach who spent 13 years at various nearby schools, including the past two at California, was recently announced as the new head coach of the Condors boys basketball program.
takes over for Brian Barber, who stepped down close to a month ago after 10 seasons.
This is Van Duyne's
first head coaching appointment.
"This is something I absolutely feel ready for," said Van Duyne, a campus science instructor.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to lead this team."
Van Duyne is a graduate of Covina High and earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of La Verne.
held previous assistant coaching gigs at Covina, Northview and Long Beach Wilson high schools.
"I've learned under some great coaches like (Northview's) Ron Rice and (Covina's) Dave Sanderson," Van Duyne
California athletic director Jim Arnold noted that Van Duyne's hire was good for the program on many levels.
According to Arnold, the job was flown within the district and Van Duyne
was the only candidate to apply.
was the best choice from the beginning."
Barber had, in fact, tried to arrange Van Duyne's
arrival in Whittier years ago.
While Barber and Van Duyne
share many of the same coaching philosophies, Van Duyne expressed there will be changes.
While the Condors graduate five seniors from a squad that just missed the postseason, Van Duyne
is convinced his
team can excel.
"I'm not an X's and O's guy," Van Duyne
"I believe in doing a few things well.
"If we hustle and rebound well and don't turn the ball over, we're going to be in most games."
While it would be natural for most first-year coaches to not pressure themselves, Van Duyne
is already throwing down the gauntlet.
"We may not have the same talent as Whittier or La Serna but I expect we're still going to compete next year," Van Duyne