END OF AN ERA: La Serna coach Mike Lowe, one of the area’s best boys basketball
coaches, has decided to retire. (Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham)
By Steve Ramirez
Nothing lasts forever, and for La Serna High School’s Mike Lowe, his tenure as boys basketball coach has come to an end.
The long-time coach, who also won a CIF-Southern Section and CIF State title at Hacienda Heights Wilson in the 1980s, previously had announced his retirement and recently was honored by the La Serna community at the team’s postseason banquet.
“I just think it was the right time,” said Lowe, who had been at La Serna 20 seasons. “It’s been a lot of fun. But now I have the energy to do other things.”
Lowe is regarded as one of the top coaches in the area and the Southern Section. He is known for making the most of his team’s talents. His teams traditionally were among the most fundamentally sound in the section.
He came to La Serna after a stint at Wilson, which he coached to the 1986 CIF-SS 3A title and also the Division II state championship that season. Lowe’s Wildcats, led by future NBA player Scott Williams, beat Ganesha for the CIF-SS 3A title before outlasting Aptos for the state Division II championship.
Lowe won several Del Rio League titles for the Lancers, including a three-year stretch in which they were 70-13 between 1999-2001.
“I think the one thing I will miss most is my relationship with the players,” Lowe said. “I’m really proud of it all, all 20 years.
“But those three years we went 70-13. That was special and was a pretty good run. We were consistent every night.”
La Serna has not been dominant lately, but the Lancers have won the league title outright or shared it five times during the past seven seasons.
They were 10-0 in 2006 and 2009 and shared the league title in ’07, ’10 and ’11.
La Serna, led by the inside play of Jared Wight and Taurean Oram, went 4-6 and finished third this season. The Lancers lost in the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs.
Lowe, whose replacement has yet to be named, now will view the Lancers from afar as someone new takes over. But he believes it’s time.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “I hope they hire a good coach and they win a ton of games. There’s nothing negative on my part.”