Michael James knows what it is like to direct a winning program. He did that for six years as girls basketball coach at Diamond Ranch. Now he’s hoping to do the same at Claremont.
James, 56, has been named coach at Claremont and looks forward to the challenge of building that program back to respectability. The Wolfpack was just 26-49 in the last three years with an 0-30 mark in league play.
“I have seen some film and they actually have some pieces,” he said. “It is a matter of putting them all together. They did lose some close games. They’re not as far off as it might seem.”
James most recently served as an assistant coach at Walnut, a school at which he has taught health and physical education the last 20 years. He will maintain his full time teaching position there.
His most notable run as head coach came at Diamond Ranch from 2007 to 2013. His teams were 134-43 overall and 53-7 in league play in that stretch with three league titles and three second-place finishes.
He knows that soccer is the big girls sport at the school but is hoping basketball can reach that status as well and looks to do that by startgin at the grassroots level.
“The ideal thing would be to get the girls more interested at a younger age,” he said. “By the time they get to high school they have already chosen a sport so we have to work at bringing them in at an earlier age.”