Campbell named Ayala girls basketball coach

Ayala didn’t waste much time replacing the retired Mel Sims, as it promoted newly-hired assistant coach Amy Campbell to take the head job last week.

Campbell, 29, has been a jack of all trades in the Chino Valley Unified School District, serving as the head coach for the Chino High girls basketball team, an assistant coach for Ayala’s CIF-championship winning softball team and a teacher at Magnolia Junior High School. She’s happy that she only has to wear one hat this upcoming year.

“I just got hired as a social studies teacher, so I’ll be able to stay on this campus,” Campbell said. “I’ve been willing to teach or coach anywhere where I’m needed, but it will be great to just wear red and black.”

Campbell was hired initially to be the coach-in-waiting to Sims, 69, who has constructed Ayala into one of the elite programs in Southern California, taking over after a year or two under Sims’ tutelage. But Sims’ retirement accelerated the timetable, though he will consult with Campbell on the side while she gets her feet wet.

“We were going to have Amy gradually take over the program from Mel, but Mel’s daughter is going to be a senior next year and plays soccer,” Ayala athletic director Steve Martin said. “Basketball and soccer season run at the same time, so Mel decided to step down. Once he did, Amy was our No. 1 target.”

Campbell was offered the job after the Bulldogs defeated Bonita in the CIF-SS Division 3 softball semifinals. Martin came up to her after the game while she was in celebration mode and she eagerly accepted.

More than a week later, the eagerness hasn’t faded.

“I’m ready to go,” Campbell said. “We start Monday and I can’t wait to get this thing started. I’m hoping to continue the great things Mel brought here and add a few wrinkles of my own.”

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