San Marcos’ interim varsity boys basketball coach isn’t short on credentials.
With Jarrod Bradley taking the year off from coaching, current Westmont Athletic Director Dave Odell has taken the wheel for the Royals and will be coaching on the sidelines for San Marcos’ season opener in early December.
A former college player himself, Odell has the coaching pedigree. His father was an NAIA Hall-of-Fame coach at Azusa Pacific and a CIF champion at Long Beach Millikan.
“Basketball is in my blood and while I chose business as my career path, I’ve always had a tug toward coaching because of the things I learned from my father,” Odell said.
The Royals have eight seniors on the team and three juniors who expect to see big minutes. Odell helped coach the Royals’ JV team last season and has been working with the varsity players since the spring. Returning varsity players include All-Channel League second-teamer Kevin Hempy and honorable mentions Bryce Ridenour and Uriel Hurtado.
“After losing a lot early in the Summer, we ended up winning 9 of our last 10 games and these guys really grew up as players,” Odell reported. “What we do have is 11 guys that are learning to play very hard. They are also learning how to work with each other and capitalize on each other’s strengths.”
Royals Athletic Director Abe Jahadhmy likes the addition.
“Dave brings a ton of basketball knowledge, integrity and credibility to our program. Dave has high expectations and the boys have responded by working really hard for him,” Jahadhmy said.
Odell has literally seen many of his players grow up, having coached basketball locally at various levels for nine years.
“I very much enjoy the interaction with the student-athletes,” Odell says. “I’ve known many of these men since they were very little and I coached a few of them in Club ball when they were in Junior High School. I believe that sport and basketball in particular teach young men and women important life lessons that will serve them well in whatever they do in the future. I look forward to helping these men learn these life lessons through my interactions with them.”
Oliver Wheeler will be an assistant on the bench.
“Oliver has been on the varsity staff for the past several years and I am thankful to have him on board as he brings some continuity and history to the team,” Odell said.
Chris Jackson, a former Westmont point guard who coached the San Marcos Frosh/Soph and JV teams last year, will also help out.
Bradley, who has been the head coach of the varsity program since the 2006-07 season, will return next year.