Glenn Johannes, who guided the Phoenix boys basketball team to its best three-year run in school history, has resigned and will move a short distance across the Rogue Valley to coach another school.
Johannes has accepted the boys position at Crater, replacing John Parent, who resigned after three seasons.
Johannes, who had a four-year record of 79-33 with the Pirates that included the school's first state championship in 2011, cited a desire to find a full-time teaching position as motivation for the move.
A graduate in political science from the University of Oregon in 2002, he obtained a masters of arts teaching certificate from Southern Oregon University last year.
Most of his substitute teaching in the area had been done at Phoenix, but he also had a stint of a couple of months at Crater early this year.
"It's going to be hard to leave that administration," said Johannes. "I had to come to terms with breaking away from Phoenix to look out for what's best for my family. That's ultimately what it came down to."
Parent stepped down in March after being named coach of the year in the Southern Oregon Hybrid.
Johannes interviewed for the position but left his options open at Phoenix. When it became apparent that pending openings at Crater presented a better chance to land a teaching job, he stepped down last Monday and accepted an offer to coach the Comets.
A social studies teacher, he will apply for full-time posts as they become available.
The Comets had a 13-11 record last year and hosted their first state playoff game as a Class 6A school. The previous two years, Crater won a combined 11 games.
Parent, a former standout player for the Comets, was the school's third coach in three years. He succeeded Jared Casper, who had taken over for Troy McNichols.
Under McNichols, Crater placed fifth in the 5A state tournament in 2009, its best showing at state since 1990, when it was fourth in 4A.
Johannes lives in Medford, five minutes from Crater. A couple recent open gyms allowed him to watch players, and the team can begin practice today in preparation for summer-league play. The Comets will be in three out-of-area tournaments.
"I'm excited about the opportunity," said Johannes. "I've gotten great support so far from the parents and players. They're eager to learn, and John Parent has been really good to me helping the process of taking over."
Crater is expected to return six varsity players, including two 6-foot-7 posts, Connor Lane, who will be a senior, and Race Reiter, who will be a junior. Seniors-to-be Tanner Jaasko and Jacob Gustafson, both 6-3, provide inside muscle.
Kory Bennett and Dylan Morgan, who was called up to the varsity for the playoffs, are guards. Bennett will be a senior and Morgan a junior.
Lane was the only returner who received all-Southern Oregon Hybrid honors. He made the second team, helping Crater to third place in league.
"They have height, good shooters and they're still young," said Johannes. "My vision is it'll be very similar to what I was doing with Phoenix: push the ball up the floor, hoping to run; use our length on defense to create transition opportunities; on offense, stay with our continuity offense and look for easy opportunities inside with Connor, Race, Jacob and Tanner."
At Phoenix, Johannes' teams went 22-7, 23-6 and 25-6 from 2010-12, placing fifth, first and second at state.
Alex Young led the Pirates during their glory stretch. He was state player of the year in 2011 and went on to UC Irvine, where he was Big West Conference co-player of the year this past season. Johannes also benefited from the talents of Tyler Dungannon, Alex Hobson, Justin Bohn and Dalton Richardson.
Phoenix dropped to 9-14 last season but has three seniors returning and a talented sophomore class this year that bodes well for the Pirates' next coach, says Johannes.
"It's going to be hard to leave those kids," he said.
Prior to becoming the Phoenix head coach, Johannes was an assistant for one season under Brian Miller.
Before that, Johannes began his high school coaching career as an assistant at Churchill in Eugene. He then was co-head coach at Crow and head coach at McKenzie from 2006-08 before moving to the Rogue Valley.
He founded the Oregon Rebels AAU team in 2003 but stepped away from it several years ago when he and his wife, Michelle, started their family.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email email@example.com