Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Trenkle resigns as WR cage coach

New boys' coach is sought

Wood River coach Fred Trenkle gives some guidance to Travis Beckman during a Hailey game this past season. Express photo by David N. Seelig Photo by David N. Seelig

Hailey's Wood River High School, which hasn't had a winning boys' basketball season since 1992, is looking for a head coach once again.

The Wolverines have struggled with five head coaches since coach Norm Cook's 15-8 team of 1991-92. Now, they'll have to replace Fred Trenkle.

Current coach Trenkle, 57, citing health reasons and family obligations, turned in his resignation April 6 and the Blaine County School District accepted Trenkle's resignation with regret a few days later.

Trenkle said his blood pressure was very high when he got a physical shortly after the end of the 2005-06 boys' basketball season. The medical check came after Trenkle learned he didn't get the head coaching job he had applied for in February at Idaho State University in Pocatello. He graduated from ISU in 1970 and played basketball there.

"I wasn't sleeping well so I went in and got a physical and was told my blood pressure was high," said Trenkle, who acknowledged that being turned down for the ISU head coaching job "took the wind out of my sails and affected me healthwise."

He added about the ISU job, "It would have been a perfect fit. But I've found college basketball is politics."

Trenkle, asked to resign as head coach of NCAA Division 1 San Diego State after a 1994-99 stint there, added, "I've been burnt and sizzled a couple of times, and I'm getting tired of being a pawn in their game.

"But I'm leaving for health reasons so I'm not dropping on the court. I want to get healthy, lose some weight, get my wife healthy and do a good job with my teaching. I'm not retired as a coach, but am I going to jump right back in? No.

"What I did decide is this a good time to do it. I'm bowing out on a year when there are a lot of kids coming back—probably the best six the school has seen for a while are returning. I've tried to bring respectability to the program. And I think we did that."

Trenkle said he hopes to spend more time during the winter watching the coaching progress of three of his sons, Swede, Brady and Eddie, who have gone into basketball coaching in Kansas and Texas

Wood River athletic director Ron Martinez said, "We're disappointed we won't have Fred any more. He jumped in at a critical time for our basketball program and helped us out. He made the boys believe they could win. We'll miss him."

Shoshone resident Trenkle, a Wood River Middle School teacher, had 11-14, 2-20 and 8-14 records in his three seasons guiding the Hailey program.

But the last two seasons when Wood River moved up to the tougher 4A classification were particularly stressful for Trenkle, who enjoyed his greatest coaching success (329-36, one national championship) for the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls from 1984-93. This was his second stint at Wood River. He had a 100-58 record in Hailey in the 1970s.

Martinez said junior varsity coach John Radford has expressed an interest in the head coaching job, but he didn't believe Trenkle's varsity assistant Jim Boatwright is interested. Both Radford and Boatwright are teachers at Wood River High School.

"We haven't started accepting applications because we want to see what teacher spots open up this spring, for next year," said Martinez. "Anyone in the school system has the upper hand. I don't think they'll be much interest from outside, just because it's so difficult to find housing here. I'd love to be able to fill the position by the time school is out."

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