(FILE PHOTO / EYE OF THE TIGER)
Following Josh Errecart’s departure from the basketball program, Allan Darte will fill the position of the girls varsity basketball coach this upcoming season.
Darte has been around the game for most of his life, coaching since 2007 for the Hot Shots and AAU leagues.
He attended Jesuit High School and, despite not playing basketball there, he was able to take his career to the collegiate level walking on at Santa Clara University.
Darte’s long history in the area prompted him to take advantage of the open coaching position at RHS.
“I’ve been coaching in the area for over ten years,” Darte said. “I’ve got a son who’s a senior here and a daughter who’s in eighth grade at Cooley whos on her way here. So for me it’s all about getting involved with [the] community.”
This season, Darte plans to develop not only athletes, but individuals with quality life skills.
“I’m really big on character,” Darte said. “My attitude of gratitude is really my claim to fame. That’s my motto. I want to make sure the girls are really focused on being great characters both on and off the court.”
He plans to uphold the Tigers’ successful history as they finished 19-9 overall last year and won league while making it to the second round of state playoffs the previous year.
“I want to create a culture of winning here. I don’t mean just winning on the basketball court I mean winning in life,” Darte said. “We’re going strive to make it to the playoffs and I want to see a section win.”
Although Darte is brand new to the program, he is working to make connections with his players and families.
“I actually know some of the girls who are freshmen coming into the program just from my experience with Hot Shots and local AAU teams,” Darte said. “I also know some of the returning players families from Cooley, so I have some connections already.”
Guard Madi Law believes that Darte will be able to bring a lot to the program from his own basketball experience.
“I think he has a lot of good experience and a good mindset for coaching,” Law said. “He has a different style of coaching, but I think it will be good for the team.”
Similar to Darte, Law has high hopes for this upcoming season. She knows that the team will have to push themselves this year to offset the coaching change.
“It will definitely be different,” Law said. “The team still has the same relationships with each other and the girls, but adding a new coach will definitely change it, but it’s just something we’ll have to get used to.”
Law also believes that the girls from last year’s JV team can help.
“The girls coming up this year will have to step up their game a lot, so hopefully we can do as good if not better than we did last year,” Law said.
Teammate Alyssa Sandle will be going into her second year on the varsity squad. Although both years of her high school experience consisted of Errecart as her coach, she believes her and her team are adjusting to the change.
“He’s coming in with a different plan and I like it,” Sandle said. “The chemistry is pretty good. He’s funny. He’s trying to get to know us. He works out with us and that is bringing us closer together.”