Bear River boys’ basketball coach Kasey Winters announced he is leaving the school to take a position with Dixie State University in St. George.
Greg Madson, Leader Publisher
The Bears will begin their search for a new boys’ basketball coach right away after Kasey Winters resigned to take an assistant coaching position at Dixie State University in St. George.
Winters, who finished his own basketball career at Dixie, led the Bears to a state runner-up finish this year; their first trip to the state championship since they won it in 2009. He will be heading south right away to help with basketball camps and other duties. In addition to coaching, he will be in charge of player development, recruiting and NCAA compliance. He will also have a part-time job at the school.
He will be working with his former coach, Jon Judkins. Before coming to BRHS, Winters was a graduate assistant at Dixie under Judkins.
“It was a tough decision. I told (Principal) Gary (Allen) on Wednesday (last week),” said Winters. “When I took this job I knew I wanted to be a coach. The opportunity (to coach in college) presented itself recently. It was a career goal of mine to get back to college, but I was thinking it would be years down the road. One of the assistants at Dixie took the job at Bingham High in South Jordan so this job opened up.”
BRHS athletic director Van Park praised Winters for his efforts during his time at the school. The Bears were 35-56 overall in that four-year span, including a 22-22 region record. Morgan or Judge Memorial won region each of those four years.
“He had some real struggles that he came into. He was patient and stuck to his plan and had a great year last year,” said Park. “We feel we have a great team coming back and hopefully that will be entertaining to some coaches.”
Park said the timing of the announcement was less than ideal but the school would work hard to find a suitable coach. If there were not able to find a quality coach that could fill one of the teaching positions, they may look to fill the post in house with a para-professional.
“The worst part is how late it is in the year. There are a lot of positions that have been filled. It is hard to get contacts made. We just do what we have to do,” he said. “We are going to work real hard to find a good coach. There are a lot of anxious boys who are waiting to see what we do. The summer camps are in full swing.”
For Winters, moving away from the Tremonton area will be hard. He has developed many great friendships here and he and his family, Meridee; son Jackson, 5; daughter Addison, 3, have loved their time here. (The couple has a baby on the way.)
“We are perfectly happy here. The community was welcoming and supportive. I love the culture that is at the high school. I feel we have another outstanding team coming back next year who will step in and get us right back to where we were last year,” said Winters. “I have grown close to (the kids). You feel like you are letting someone down. I told the boys it was one of those hard life decisions you will all make some day.”
The basketball team is already fully into its summer program, so finding a new coach quickly will be key to a successful transition. Park said the school isn’t as hamstrung on teaching positions as they have been in the past. They will have Winters’ position available. He taught in the CT business class, yearbook and School to Careers program. They also have a counseling position and another teaching spot to fill.
“We do have more positions open than we have had in a long time. That will make it easier to fill the position,” Park said.