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Turnover continues at Golden Valley

Girls basketball program hires freshman coach Hawkins as its fourth head coach in the last 18 months

Posted: September 6, 2009 10:29 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
It’s hard to argue that Golden Valley’s girls basketball program has been in a state of disarray for the last five years.

That trend continued recently when the school and new head coach Todd Jackson came to a mutual agreement that he would no longer guide the Grizzlies.

Jackson hadn’t even coached a regular-season game yet for the team.

On Tuesday, Golden Valley acted quickly and hired Marq Hawkins as its new head coach — the team’s fourth head coach in 18 months.

David Smith left the program after the 2007-08 season. James Wilson was hired in Aug. 2008. He led the Grizzlies for a season before resigning. Then Jackson, who became Canyon’s interim head coach in January, was hired in May to lead the program.

Golden Valley co-athletic director Chris Printz did not go into details as to why Jackson lasted four months, but said the parting of ways was a mutual agreement.

“Everyone has tried to do everything along the way to find a stable situation that will continue year after year. Sometimes things have not been in our control,” Printz said. “Coaching high school sports is a difficult thing. It takes a lot of time. There is a huge amount of pressure. I think (Jackson’s departure) was kind of mutually agreed for many reasons — time and philosophy — for many reasons. Perhaps it wasn’t the right fit or right time for us or for Todd personally.”

Hawkins was Golden Valley’s freshman girls basketball head coach in 2008-09 and said his team was run independently of the varsity program.

The Sierra Vista Junior High math teacher said he plans on staying at Golden Valley for a long time.

“Rest assured, I’m going to do everything in my power, in my reach, to create a high-quality and highly competitive program,” Hawkins said.

In the last three years, the girls varsity basketball program has had five different head coaches. It began with Troy Best, who was Golden Valley’s first head coach.

Best was 27-28 in two seasons, leading the Grizzlies to their only playoff appearances.

The program is 12-33 since Best’s departure from the program after the 2006-07 season.

Hawkins acknowledges a perception of instability with the program.

“That’s totally understandable that (parents) would feel that way. As a parent myself of a student in this valley I understand the skepticism,” Hawkins said. “I bring a different set of skills in understanding the dynamics in the educational system, and as an athlete I understand what it takes to compete at a high level.”

In Golden Valley’s favor, the squad does have one of the better players in the Foothill League returning for the 2009-10 season in forward Jasmine Jefferson, who scored 14 points per game last season.


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