There will be a new face calling the shots for the Hazen boys basketball team this season as the school this past week named Kyle Templeton the new coach.
Templeton, 40, most recently coached the varsity squad at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way where he racked up a 70-74 record over his seven seasons as head coach.
Templeton takes over for William Johnson, who was hired this spring but resigned Sept. 15 for unexpected personal reasons.
Templeton said he was born and raised in Federal Way, but nearly two years ago, he, his wife and three boys moved to Snoqualmie and the drive to and from Federal Way was a bit much, especially on nights when his young sons wanted to watch games.
Plus, with 13 seniors on his squad last year, Templeton said it seemed like perfect timing to hard the squad over to another coach.
Templeton said his philosophy as a coach is for his team to “play harder” and “be more prepared” than their opponents and he hopes to instill good, fundamental basketball and team play on his squad.
“If we play hard and are prepared, that’s good for a couple of wins a year,” he said Tuesday, adding that he wants his players to be instrumental in each other’s success.
Templeton described himself as “analytically minded” and said he hopes to install a fast-paced offense at Hazen.
As for the team he is taking over, Templeton said he sees a lot of talent on the squad, as well as “unbelievable” infrastructure and support at Hazen.
“There is a lot of depth in that program,” he said, adding that he hopes to take the Highlanders into the postseason this year.
Last year, the Highlanders finished 13-7 overall and earned the Seamount League’s 3A second seed, but dropped their two district playoff games to Lincoln and Mount Tahoma.
This year, the team will play in the new North Puget Sound League, Cascade Division.
“We are very excited to get a coach with a history of success. His experience with the teams in our new league will be a benefit to Hazen,” Hazen Athletic Director Ed Crow said in an email. “The players are looking forward to attacking this new era in Hazen Basketball.”
“It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited,” Templeton said.
Hazen opens its 2016-2017 season Nov. 28 at Renton.