EAST BREMERTON — Jon O’Connor, the assistant boys basketball coach for the past five seasons at Olympic High School, will take the helm as the head man this upcoming year.
O’Connor served under previous head coach Devin Huff, who announced his resignation in May after 11 years.
“When he told me he was done after last year, it was kind of a tough thing for me,” O’Connor said. “He’s a good friend of mine. He opened his door wide open to me. I owe a lot to him.”
O’Connor is not short on coaching experience. He currently serves as the head tennis coach and the assistant baseball coach at Olympic. He said he is excited for the opportunity to build on what Huff created — the Trojans had not qualified for the playoffs in the decade prior to Huff’s arrival.
“For me to be the guy that takes over after he hangs it up, it’s bittersweet,” O’Connor said, reiterating the close relationship he had with Huff.
While the Trojans lost some skilled players to graduation this year — including all-league four-year varsity guard Jaiden Mosley — they have experience coming back in players such as Brandon Barron, Greg Brehmer and Caleb Morgan.
The Olympic League has continually improved its quality over the past few years with the emergence of North Kitsap and the seemingly always competitive Port Angeles Roughriders hanging around at the top of the division. Port Angeles returns most of its team from a year ago, and the Vikings should have enough young talent to reload quickly.
“If you want to win the league, you have to go through them,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor will face a similar challenge — getting a relatively young team to gel as quickly as possible to keep their standing among the league’s best. He believes he is ready for the task.
“The league is very good, getting a lot better for sure over the past four or five years,” O’Connor said. “There’s a lot of good basketball teams in this league.”