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Los Angeles Windward

January 18, 2014
West Coast Hoops

 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."


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