Hantgin steps down as Dons’ basketball coach

Chris Hantgin is out as the boys basketball coach at Santa Barbara High.

With the start of the season less than a month away, Hantgin stepped down from the position on Tuesday so he can devote his full attention to teaching, athletic director Nan Verkaik said in a television interview.

Hantgin is a math teacher at the school.

Hantgin was preparing to enter his sixth season as coach. He last led the team to the CIF playoffs in 2008. The last two seasons have been difficult for the Dons, winning just two games last year and one game in 2009-10.

“The priority right now has to be on teaching, Hangtin said in an interview with KEYT-TV. “Bottom line is I have to get better on what I’m doing from 8 and 3. I think that’s a concern of leadership and I respect that decision.”

Verkaik said the timing of the move could have been better.

“It could have been better timing, that’s for sure,” Verkaik told KEYT,  “but there’s some things Chris is going to be working on in the classroom, and he needed more time to be able to get that done.”

“It comes at a tough time, but I think it’s something I need to address,” said Hantgin. “As far as coaching in the future, we’ll see.”

Santa Barbara has not named a replacement, but KEYT reported that David Bregante, a former Dons player and a coach at the lower level, would take over the varsity job.