East boys basketball coach resigns

Jeremy Peters

With the first day of high school basketball practice less than a month away, East High boys coach Josh Muehlenkamp resigned this week.

The position, which is open to applicants, had become too much of a time commitment, said Muehlenkamp, who led East to the Class 4A state title last spring in his second season at the helm. The 39-year-old teacher at Tyson Elementary School and father of three wants to dedicate more time to his family.

"I don't think people realize coaches give up a lot," Muehlenkamp said. "It was an accumulation of things. I just wanted to recharge and rethink things and figure out a way for me to be successful in the future."

Muehlenkamp's first head coaching gig was with Metlakatla from 2002-06; he left there to obtain a masters in educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati.

Muehlenkamp said he will always consider himself a coach and hopes to return to it someday. He said his favorite thing about coaching is the connection with the kids and the ability to impact their lives.

"That's why you coach, is to help players to be successful," he said. "I've had seven seniors and all seven are in college."

Four East players from last season's squad are playing basketball at the junior-college level. Jarred Laws is at Western Wyoming, Xavier Johnson plays for Highline, Matt Hardwick is at Green River and Austin Huss plays for Mt. Hood. The players stay in touch with Muehlenkamp.

"Their feedback has meant a lot to me, because they felt like they were prepared to play college basketball," he said.

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.