L.A. Windward Coach Miguel Villegas told his players on Thursday that he will not be returning as basketball coach next season. He will finish out this season as coach. A school spokesman confirmed that Villegas won't be returning. Villegas could not be reached for comment.
Villegas guided Windward to two state titles and built the program into a small-schools power.
Villegas, a South Gate grad, helped develop NBA player Darius Morris and Harvard standout Wesley Saunders, among others, since he took over the program in 2003. The Wildcats are 12-4 this season and 2-0 in the Alpha League.
Like all private-school coaching jobs, the combination of trying to win and dealing with parents is always a challenge. And it appears that the school has made a decision to move in a "different direction," as the saying goes. The fact Athletic Director Steve Smith, a former Windward girls' coach, was on the bench this season might have been a sign of trouble brewing for Villegas.
By making its position open, Windward could be starting the Ryan Bailey coaching sweepstakes. Bailey is the third-year coach at Brentwood and several expected private-school openings could lead to a strong competition trying to lure him away from the Eagles.
Here's a statement from the school: "During his time at Windward, he has made tremendous contributions to the boys basketball program, supporting our student-athletes to excel both athletically and academically....Windward is grateful for Miguel's service to the school, our students and basketball program. Together, we are all committed to ensuring that student-athletes in the basketball program have a positive and successful remainder of the current season."