Coach understands components of winning formula

Colin Brown, Reporter

The formula to make a high school basketball program “legendary” includes great coaches, solid work ethic, and determined players. This formula worked in 1982 when both girls and boys basketball teams won the State championships at the Oakland Coliseum.

Newly hired varsity boys basketball coach, Bret Tovani, has been coaching in Marin County for 35 years and watched the tradition of school’s basketball achieve legendary status.

“From a former outsider’s point of view, and as a coach who had to bring teams in here to play, it could be somewhat intimidating. Back in the day, the stands were full of loud, noisy fans that weren’t too friendly to visitors. Basketball seemed to bring the community together and they all met in the gym on game night. It was actually a great place to play because of the energy in the building,” Tovani said.  

In 1982, the school’s boys and girls teams both qualified for the State Championship. All local schools had minimum schedules the day of the games, and families around the community hired buses to travel and watch their two local teams compete.

Many years have passed, but this formula still holds.

“They have benefited from having good kids who were willing to work hard to improve. I think, ultimately, they created an expectation of excellence,” Tovani said, “Under (former) Coach Pete Hayward they put together a championship mindset and players began to believe that they could, would, and should win. Anything less was not acceptable. But it takes good players who have developed their skills to make championships happen.”

Tovani understands the components of a winning formula.

“By continuing to develop the tough, smart, and unselfish style of play, so much of this starts on the defensive end,” said Tovani, “We need to believe that we are the best defensive team and consistently play to that level.”