Whittier picks 1990 grad/ex-player Mata

Having worked 11 years in security at Whittier High School and being a
1990 graduate and former Cardinal basketball player, Joey Mata is
familiar with, so to speak, the lay of the land.

Recently named the school’s boys basketball head coach, Mata is
replacing Michael Varos, who resigned as both head coach and athletic

“It will be hard filling Mike’s shoes,” Mata said. “He’s a very good

Acknowledging the job ahead, Mata is quick to list his No. 1

“It’s about the players buying into the program and accepting me as
the coach,” Mata said. “The boys know what they want. I hope to keep
much of that going, and keeping the intensity they’ve had.

“Mike and I have two different styles of coaching. He’s very intense,
I’m more laid back.”

Mata was Pioneer’s head coach for eight seasons, posting a 93-125
record. His best year was 2006 when the Titans were 17-11 and finished
second in the Del Rio League.

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