It isn’t often that an incoming high school coach inherits a championship team. But that apparently is going to happen at Crossroads.
The entire coaching staff that guided the Roadrunners to the first CIF girls basketball championship in school history has resigned.
According to sources, head coach Kevin Cormier and assistants Al Buck and Bridget Trumpet turned in their resignation largely because, in their eyes, the stipend for part-time coaches didn’t take into consideration rising gas prices. Cormier and Buck live 60 miles away, and even though they frequently car-pooled, the small raise they received was deemed inadequate.
The coaches would not confirm that reasoning, but Athletic Director Chuck Ice has begun interviewing for the position.
All five starters are expected back as Crossroads moves up in competition to the Alpha League.
“I can confirm that the coaching staff has resigned,” Ice told the Mirror. “We have a salary scale like most schools. We’re up front in what we can offer.”
There is a growing concern in Southern California that the rise in gas prices could greatly affect the ability of qualified coaches to take jobs. But Ice said that will not be a factor in the interview process.
“I assume that anyone who applies for a job can factor in where he or she lives and what effect gas prices will have,” he said.
There is no timetable to conclude the interview process.
“We will interview until we find the right candidate,” said Ice.
The new coach will be the third in three years for the team. Two seasons ago, Danielle Minton guided the Roadrunners to the CIF semi-finals.
Cormier, Buck, and Trumpet then took over, bringing plenty of experience in both boys and girls basketball. They worked the players hard, beginning with six weeks of running in the sand at Santa Monica Beach. Superior conditioning became a major reason the team was able to achieve what had never happened before at Crossroads.
Cormier was named Delphic League Coach of the year. A few weeks later, he was named CIF 5-A Coach of the Year too.
“We achieved what we came here to do,” said Buck.
That included not only a league championship and a CIF championship but one win in the state tournament – also the first ever for a Crossroads girls basketball team.
Megan Baer, a returning guard, was CIF Player of the Year in Crossroads’ division. Kristina Murray and Shannon McQueen were chosen first-team all-league. Nadine Byers and Alex Palacios made second team.
Cormier may seek another coaching job, but Buck, who has done film work the last 18 years for the Lakers, is considering staying out of coaching next season.