Rob Galosich, who coached the Dimond boys basketball team to two state titles in 11 seasons at the helm, will coach the South boys next season.
The job opened up a couple of weeks ago and Galosich said he accepted the job Wednesday. He will take the place of Taylor Nerland, who resigned after coaching the Wolverines to a 7-7 Cook Inlet Conference record last season.
Galosich, 38, spent 13 years coaching the Lynx, the first two as an assistant. He led the Lynx to state titles in 2009 and 2012. Dimond is currently searching for a new coach, Galosich said.
"I've been in one place for so long, professionally, I need a new challenge," he said. "It's a new fresh beginning that I'm looking forward to. I've had a good run at Dimond."
Dimond was nearly unstoppable during the 2011-12 season, riding seven seniors to a 24-1 regular-season record to go with CIC and state titles. The 2009 state title was the first for Dimond in more than two decades. Colton Lauwers, who now plays with UAA, powered that title run on his way to being named Class 4A player of the year. Dimond is full of great memories for Galosich, but winning titles aren't the ones he will treasure the most.
"The best thing about Dimond is the relationships I've made with kids," he said. "Some of my best friendships today are with kids who played with me throughout the 13 years. That's what high school coaching is all about."
The Lynx tied for seventh in last month's state tournament, after finishing third in the CIC regular-season standings with a 9-5 record. Dimond senior Damon Cikanek, who this week signed a National Letter of Intent to play Divsion II college basketball with UAF, was the team's top scorer.
Galosich doesn't know much about the players he will inherit at South, but said he looks forward to getting to know everyone in the program, underclassmen and upperclassmen alike.
"That's my first priority is getting to know these kids," he said. "They have a very strong reputation for student athletes and I can't wait to be a part of that."
South, which opened its doors in the fall of 2004, won its only boys state basketball title in 2008. The Wolverines have enjoyed plenty of athletic success, collecting 25 state titles across nine different sports. Most recently, the football team won its second state title last fall and the wrestling team claimed its first earlier this year.
South hockey owns five state titles, the volleyball team and boys soccer team each have four and the girls soccer team is pursuing its third straight and fourth overall title this season.
"It's a new school, it's got great facilities," Galosich said. "There's a lot of good things about it. I'm looking forward to being a part of an athletic department that strives for excellence."
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
By JEREMY PETERS