Breaking News: Nogales boys basketball coach Ricky Roper leaving to powerhouse Gahr

Nogales high school is losing one of the best young high school boys basketball coaches in the San Gabriel Valley. Nobles coach Ricky Roper is leaving to Southern Section powerhouse Cerritos Gahr, who won the San Gabriel Valley League title last season while competing against the likes of Lynwood and Paramount. (to continue click thread).

Although Gahr lost in the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs, it advanced three rounds in the state tournament before losing to Compton Centennial, 83-77, and finished 27-6. Roper, who arrived at Nogales in 2004, led the Nobles to three San Antonio League titles, advanced to the CIF quarterfinals in 2008, and the semifinals in 2009, when he was named the Tribune boys basketball coach of the year. Roper was an instant favorite among the players when he coached the Tribune in the Tribune/Star-News all-star game, even inserting himself in the dunk contest and wooing fans with a player-aided dunk that brought the house down. We caught up with Roper on Thursday, who said it was a very difficult decision to leave, especially after having practiced with Nogales all summer … “I really want to thank (athletic director) Bruce Alley for hiring me, the staff and students at the school, and all the players that played for me and their parents, I’m going to miss everyone,” Roper said. “There is so much about Nogales that I’m going to miss, especially the players.”
Roper is replacing Gahr coach Bob Becker, who recently resigned, and is inheriting a very strong group. “I’m a very lucky guy,” Roper said. “The Nogales team we had during the summer has been very good. There is a lot of upside and whoever gets this job has a great bunch of kids to work with. The kids at Gahr have been great too, just as the Nogales kids always did everything you would ever ask, I’m getting that kind of reaction at Gahr too.”
Roper also added, “I just think it’s a new challenge, new area and a different region in the Southern Section. That part excites me, but it is and was tough saying goodbye to Nogales, that’s for sure.”

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  • A Step Up

    That is a tough League

    Dominguez (Former Players include:)
    Cedric Ceballos
    Tyson Chandler
    Dennis Johnson
    Brandon Jennings
    Tayshaun Prince
    Jordan Hamilton

  • sgvpride

    Now here is a guy who is not stuck in this sgv fish bowl and decided to move up and take better offers wherever they may come. Congrats coach your a competitor like many of your players you will do fine in a very tough league.

  • SGV for 30 Years

    Fred. You guys are kind of late on this one. This happened a while ago. Coach Roper will do a great job at Ghar just as he did at Nogales. He runs a very player friendly system that should be even better with the great athletes he has at Ghar. As for that League it’s a tough league but it’s all reletive. The San Antonio League was tough because everyone has the same type of players based on this area. It will be the same down there, everyone will have great athletes. Ghar should be able to compete for the league championship. Dominguez isn’t nearly what they use to be.

    SGV430 Ouuut!!!

  • Fan

    Who is Nogales looking at to replace Roper? Thanks coach, my boys enjoyed attending your spring break camps.

  • Benedict Arnold

    this guy tried to block two tranfers and then took off after he saw he had nothing left.Doesn’t deserve success. My grandma could of coachd those teams.

  • Anonymous

    An great coach, with amazing character. He deserves all the success he gets. Congrats Coach Roper!

  • Best WIshes

    Any one care to rank the SGV Basketball Head Coaches?

    Would we get to three tiers or is this a two tier Fish Bowl?

    I liked Roper and what he did for Nogales. I mean who inserts themselves into a dunk contest and comes down Shawn Kemp style…too classic for words. Gotta love the guy!!!

    Every time I see Roper he’s working the crowd, the fans and anyone who loves the great sport of basketball.

    This year I saw him struggle with the team he brought to Damien where the Spartans, without Chris Reyes, outclassed Roper’s players. All the while Roper held tough, breaking things down and coaching his butt off. He’s a keeper.

    Sort of reminds me of Roddy Layton with out Roddy’s motor.

    One thing I’m happy for isNogales now has a template for what a high school coach should be and Gahr got themselves a winner.

  • Zackly Pinebreadth,

    what coach enters a HIGH SCHOOL competition and attempts to utilize a HIGH SCHOOL moment for self promotion. when you mentor, you are not above the student. if you do with tlc the student will respond accordingly. no need to intimidate. was always too loud for my tastes.

  • Cyclops

    ok Fred lets raise some serious issues. why is ok for a coach to leave for better opportunities and a student must go through rigorous and oft times punishable scrutiny when they choose the same options.

  • SGV for 30 Years

    Wow lot of haters out there. Cyclops, let me ask you this question. If you are a teacher, are you hired to teach or coach first? There have been quite a few teachers/coaches that got pink slipped by their districts. The job coach Roper did at Nogales was outstanding. Who could even question that. I would be interested in comparing the 2 school districts salary schedules. Maybe it’s a financial move. Who wouldn’t take a job where you are doing the same work but making more money? So you see Cyc you really can’t compare the coach’s situation to that of a kid/parent.

    SGV430 Ouuut!!!!!!!

  • Cyclops

    teach of course but when you accept a salary then both are equal in importance. when a student has the opportunity to explore options that may equate to financial gains later in his career,i don’t see the difference.if a teacher gets fired im assuming its due to poor performamce. the transfers im referring to have the grades and attempt to leave voluntarily.they’ve established themselves and are in high demand. same thing.

  • SGV for 30 Years


    Just how much do you think public school coaches make per season? I’ll tell you. About $4,000 per season. As for teaching you obviously have no idea how the teaching profession works. Teachers job security is based on seniority not performance. So it’s not the samething as you say. How many students have families to support and bills to pay?
    Let me ask you this. If you had a chance to work in a better place for more money and more security would you take the job? Have you checked the Rowland School District? Do you know that Nogales went for 3 years without a Principal? Do you know the District also wanted to close down freshmen athletics? Other than boys basketball and baseball what athletic program at Nogales has done anything in the last 5 years? They finished at or near the bottom in every other sport. Which is why they will compete in the Valle Vista League next year.

    SGV430 Ouuut!!!

  • Bloggers often really do not know

    SGV for 30 years is correct.

    In fact he gave ABC Unified a little too much credit. $2,983.00 is the amount Coach Ricky Roper will earn next year for being the Head Basketball Coach for Gahr H.S.

    The idea the coaches actually “get paid” and/or earn a living by coaching High School sports is often misunderstood.

  • Cyclops

    good thing i have one eye. it helps me stay focused on the current questions instead of adding irrelevant issues.the issue was not how much.statistics do not equal common sense.if you accept a quarter for promised work you are in essence promising to fulfill that obligation.there are plenty of volunteers who do outstanding jobs.(outstanding is only reserved for A on report card. roper has never been to finals.thats a B and that is only good.Nogales basketball was already good before Roper)it doesnt matter about seniority. you still must perform your duties competently without controversy)different districts pay diff. salary.thats the reason for the move.(BETTER OPPORTUNITY WILL EQUAL MORE FINANCES LATER)its an investment in the future.children do not have families to feed now but will IN THE FUTURE. its an investment in the future. they have limited choices and we as adults exploit that disadvantage to the point of adolescent behaviour worse than the student.i might have one eye, but at least i don’t have to worry about the other one drifting…

  • Alice in Wonderland,

    interesting how you’ve attacked Cyclops credibility based on statistics without common sense.if you want to be literal then Roper has no family. he is single.same as a students situation. it doesnt matter how much you make.if you choose the profession with or without pay you are making a promise to every student and parent as well that you will conduct yourself in a professional and fair manner.when is the last time a coach has entered a slam contest.(find me that stat.that should b EASY since you obviously have a computer)if he is the only one then i guess he must b the exception.special. both student and teacher are attempting a better way of life.something this country promises.

  • Statgirl Diva

    i cant speak from experience(i wasnt allowed to play)but if anyone needs stats or historical information if i can’t wing it, my friend has a computer that i can use. STD430 ouuut!!!

  • huh?

    Is it possible Coach Roper was just having fun by entering the dunk contest and maybe everyone is blowing it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion?

  • SGV for 30 Years

    Alice and Cyclops,

    My whole point is that you are hired as a Teacher first and a Coach second. Teaching contracts are from year to year. There are teachers/coaches that do a great job who lost their jobs this year. Districts can just let you go no matter how well you do your job. So in a time of pink slips and district cutbacks why would you not leave an unstable teaching situation for a better one? I have known coach Roper for 8 or 9 years. I can tell you this I don’t know of any coaches or players who have anything bad to say about him.

    SGV430 Ouuut!!!!

  • 3 blind mice

    so does that attest to the amount of people you know are dont know. seriously if you know Roper he is going through personal issues and we wish him the best in that regard…if you were using your ears and not your eyes you would of realized that i had shifted to a relevant but not direct issue regarding Mr. Roper(notice i utilize Mr. i think we agree he deserves that distintion)once again,both cases of student and teacher wishing to whatever you wish to call it should be treated in a similar fashion. now i realize that it cannot be addressed equally but of course you know my stance is more rights for the student.

  • SGV for 30 Years

    3 Blind Mice,

    I actually do know about some of the issues that you speak of concerning Coach Roper. I actually spoke to him about some of them acouple of times last year. I just don’t want to put him out there like that. I’m all for kids to. The situation I’ve seen is kids leaving school after school. I personally know of a student/athlete whos’ family listed them as homeless so that this player could attend a certain school. This student saw that the team wasn’t going to be competetive this year, they were all of a sudden not homeless anymore. Those are the situations that need to be addressed.

    SGV430 Ouuut!!!!

  • Mike

    Roper is leaving for a chance to win a State Championship, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Jim

    Word on the street is Gahr coach was fired. Roper had it made at Nogales. Will this be a good fit?

  • Alice in Wonderland,

    from league champion to state title!?Comedy is not your forte perhaps you should try fantasy or sci fi but it sounds good.

  • Charles

    Guess your right Alice, big brawl this weekend at Gahr. Scant details: Gahr vs Claremont, Gahr lost, police called out at Gahr sponsored tourney.

  • anonymous

    roper is leaving for the fact that he wants a shot at the state championship and because he wants to win and he wont be getting that with the team left at nogales. with no talent left at nogales, he wont be goin anywhere. he did what he could and got as far as possible with honestly cannot blame him for the move.

  • Wow????

    So he left because he no longer had talent there? Wow isnt that sad? So as a coach isnt that his job to coach up the talent? Its not like he was there for 1 year. He had the time to make sure he had the right coaches at the lower levels to make sure he had talent to reload. Maybe he wasnt as good a coach as people believed he was? Good luck Gahr.

  • #6Nogales soccer#6

    umm.. hello im an honors student at Nogales Highschool and im in soccer too. Who gives yew da rite 2 critique our athletics department! We have great players like Evelyn de La Rosa, Patrick Miranda, and Christian Sanchez. By the way we r not only AWESOME in basketball and baseball but we are also FANTASTIC in Band, water polo, color guard, cheer leading and boys soccer. Water polo is playing for the Division title. Band and color guard competed today as well at Fresno!!! And cheer leaders here are like the best in California so do not run your mouth when you do not know what is a fact. I wont let you insult our school when we can beat an y team we play. Our sports seasons have their ups and downs but we r determined every day to play for the school and defend oour schools honor from ignorant people like you on the field!!!