Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Radford takes over as basketball coach

At Wood River High School

Wood River High School has a new boys' basketball coach, replacing Fred Trenkle, and it's a familiar face for the program.

John Radford, 45, Wood River's junior varsity basketball coach the past three years, was chosen Friday to replace local coaching legend Trenkle. Trenkle, 57, resigned his coaching job April 6 due to health reasons and family obligations.

Wood River athletic director Ron Martinez collaborated with assistant athletic director John Rade and principal Graham Hume in making the decision from a field of two candidates, both Hailey high school teachers—Radford and current volleyball coach Tim Richards.

Martinez said, "We felt strongly that either John or Tim could step up and do the job. At the end we decided John was a stronger candidate. I think he'll do a good job."

"I'm pleased and excited," said Radford, who lives in Hailey with his wife Sue, daughter Blair, 7, and son John, 4.

"Our first immediate goal is that all returning players work on becoming stronger and better athletes, and work on their basketball skills between now and the beginning of the season. Another goal is to retain our players the full four years."

He said he is pleased Wood River has "a very solid six kids," coming back next season. Radford added, "We'll work on developing the next four to six kids to keep us moving in positive direction."

A Wood River social studies teacher, Radford has extensive coaching experience dating back 23 years when he was a junior varsity basketball coach in the Santa Rosa (Ca.) area.

He graduated in 1984 from Sonoma State College in California with undergraduate degrees in economics and management. Radford played four years of college basketball at Sonoma State. He received his masters in administration from Penn State University in 1989.

Radford was Gary Smith's assistant basketball coach at the University of Redlands in California from 1989-91, during a time when all-time Wood River leading scorer Brad Jaques was lighting up the Bulldog assist and 3-point stats.

He moved on to become head basketball coach for 10 years at two comparably sized high schools in the Bay Area east of Oakland and San Francisco. They were Antioch and Liberty high schools, with enrollments of about 2,700 in grades 9-12. Radford also coached golf.

In his first two years at Wood River, Radford also coached the varsity tennis team with Jim Boatwright.

Radford said he is hoping that last year's freshman basketball coach Craig Eastop will take over as junior varsity coach, and that his JV assistant last year—former Wood River student R.J. McLaughlin—will become freshman coach in 2006-07. Both those jobs have to go through the bureaucracy.

"We'd like to maintain the continuity," said Radford. He will have to fill a third paid position, the varsity assistant job. Radford said he doesn't expect Trenkle's assistant Jim Boatwright to return next year.

Trenkle had 11-14, 2-20 and 8-14 records during his three seasons as head varsity coach—all with Radford as his JV coach. Radford is Wood River's sixth head coach since the school's last winning basketball team, the 15-8 squad coached by Norm Cook in 1991-92.

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