New varsity coaches look to turn around Truckee basketball program
Josh Jansen and Angelo Tenorio both spend their days at the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District, coaching and organizing youth basketball, among other sports.Besides sharing a common work environment and a love for playing and coaching basketball, they will share another interest when the Truckee Wolverines step on the court Dec. 2 to open the season against Loyalton: coaching their first high school varsity basketball game.Tenorio, a resident of Truckee since 1990, is a true local and is looking forward to the challenge of coaching girls’ varsity. From 1984 to 1989, he coached junior varsity boys at North Tahoe High School, the same school he graduated from in 1981.Truckee locals have Tenorio, Jansen, and others at the rec. department to thank for a solid youth basketball program where the kids can compete with a strong emphasis on learning fundamentals and having fun, rather than winning. Tenorio, 40, has coached youth sports for 20 years.”Josh and I are very involved in organizing the league and teaching them different drills,” he said. “We teach other sports, but our passion lies in the game of basketball.”But Tenorio, along with new assistant coach Geoff Stephens, is looking forward to the change of pace of high school varsity basketball.”I volunteered my time last year with the team to see if I’d be interested in it,” he said. “I just went to the practices and helped out any way I could. I also went to the games and sat on the bench and cheered on the girls.”Mike Merriman, the man who Tenorio will replace, was looking to retire and step down as head coach, but no one had shown much interest. Tenorio seized the opportunity.”I had so much fun last year hanging out with the team I decided to turn in an application and see what happened,” he said.Another motivating factor is Tenorio’s daughter, Felicia, who played on the JV team last year. Tenorio will bring Felicia, 15, up to the varsity level this year, one of two sophomores to play on this year’s team.Tenorio had also worked with a lot of his would-be players at the rec. department over the years.”I already knew a lot of the girls, so I thought it would be good to devote my time and energy into teaching them a sport I love,” he said.In contrast to Tenorio, the boys’ coach Jansen, a native of Michigan, never planned on living in Truckee.”I came out to ski for one winter, and then I was going to go back to graduate school,” he said. “But the town and community is nice, so I stayed. I was also attracted to the outdoor and recreation.”Jansen, 24, has lived in Truckee for three years and started working as a sports coordinator for the rec. department two years ago. Working in the youth basketball program there allowed Jansen to get to know a lot of the people involved in the basketball community.”It’s kind of a tight community between the schools and the recreation department,” Jansen said. “That way I was able to meet people and get involved (with the high school).”Jansen, who played guard at Western Michigan University, has adopted a style based on the teachings of his high school and college basketball head coaches, who he describes as Bobby Knight protgs.”We have a lot of new concepts and new ideals to learn,” Jansen said. “I’m bringing in my own philosophy, which is tough, hard-nosed basketball.”Along with assistant Tye Warner, also 24, Jansen brings a young, energetic approach to Truckee basketball.But age is irrelevant when it comes to the job at hand. Jansen is serious about improving Truckee basketball.”I expect every kid on this team to work hard every day and be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “We practice every day besides Sunday, and this weekend we’ll practice every day besides Thanksgiving. I know they’ll love me for that.”Jansen earned a degree in biomedical sciences from Western Michigan, and he will earn his teaching credential from Sierra Nevada College in December. He said he foresees a high school teaching job in his future.”I’m a very busy guy right now,” he said.
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