BASKETBALL: Dirks steps down as GHS boys coach

Jeremy Dirks talks to his players during a timeout at this

After two years at the helm, GHS boys basketball head coach
Jeremy Dirks is stepping down from his post, just weeks after
leading the Mustangs to their best season in 25 years.
After two years at the helm, GHS boys basketball head coach Jeremy Dirks is stepping down from his post, just weeks after leading the Mustangs to their best season in 25 years.

“I don’t think it was a huge surprise. I had kind of been hinting toward it all season,” said Dirks, who compiled a 34-20 record and two trips to the Central Coast Section playoffs in his time. “My anxiety was serious. It never surfaced until I was coaching.”

Aside from the health precautions – Dirks said he lost 25 pounds last year – another factor leading to his decision, he added, was that he and his wife are expecting their second child and he wanted to be more available and accessible to his growing family.

“Two years ago when I got the job, my goal was to bring (the program) back to respectability and good footing. I never really saw myself as a long-term coach. It’s not my personality. I like to be liked and someone is always mad at you.”

Despite his worries, it was easy to gauge just how passionate Dirks was about his job and his players.

His exuberance and willingness to teach his players translated well from the practice floor to real-game performances.

“The camaraderie and working with the kids has been awesome,” Dirks said. “There is a special connection with the kids. There are tons of memories.”

There were a few games during this last season – the return of Tracy Carpenter, his high school coach while a student at GHS, senior night and the playoffs – where the coach would wear a necktie to accompany his usual black suit and blue button-up shirt. However, that tie never lasted long into the first minute of the game, and come to think about it, his shirt didn’t stay tucked in either. He was that into it.

“I never actually thought I’d be a coach,” said the GHS alum, who played all four years on the Mustangs basketball team in the early 1990s. “But once I started, it became my dream job. It really did. And it still is my dream job, but with the anxiety and the new baby it’s not going to work out.”

Not many people find their so-called dream jobs. And to that affect, not many people succeed at that job either, some becoming content with just reaching a certain plateau and not forging forward.

Dirks continued on, though, only needing two seasons to take the program to a 19-7 semifinals appearance this season, and leaving behind his motto of “work hard, play hard”.

“I think I brought energy and a passion for the game,” Dirks said. “I think we embraced a program and family concept that I think will stick.”

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