Coronado High School (CHS) boys basketball is starting the season under a new head coach, CHS ‘06 alumnus Anthony Ott. Anthony is excited to bring his expertise and strategy to CHS varsity basketball as the Islanders move up to Division I in CIF San Diego.
After starring on the CHS basketball team during his high school years, Ott played collegiate basketball until an injury shifted his focus to coaching. His first coaching experience was with summer camps for the San Antonio Spurs and Reebok Five-Star Camps before moving to the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit while also coaching at Steele Canyon High School in San Diego. A professional business opportunity led Anthony to Chicago where he also coached basketball at top-ranked Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, Illinois. Ott returned to San Diego in December 2020 and jumped at the opportunity to also coach CHS basketball where he is “thrilled to do what I love at my alma mater.”
Recognizing school sports is about more than winning, Ott shared his number one priority as a coach is to teach his players life skills, “Things learned on the court are skills that translate off the court; how to fight through adversity, how to be empathetic, how to be a good partner/teammate, the importance of opportunity cost: what are you willing to give up now, in order to gain later? How to push yourself, be self motivated and a motivator for others. Forcing yourself to do things that others won’t do.” Ott understands the responsibilities of a high school coach and “looks forward to being a role model and mentor to these young men as they navigate the challenges and successes that arise in a place that I once called home.”
This year’s CHS basketball team has only four returning players from the winning basketball team of 2021 suggesting Ott will be focused on developing a young team that includes a mix of seniors, juniors, and sophomores. Ott believes, “Establishing a winning program takes hard work, dedication, and a relentless pursuit for perfection. I will always and forever believe that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” The team will have plenty of opportunities for hard work in the regular season scheduled between November 18, 2021 and February 11, 2022, as well as the Sweetwater Tournament and Mt. Carmel Invitational tournament over the December holidays.
Ott believes his success as a coach stems from his extreme appetite for learning, fearlessness about asking questions, never being afraid to take chances, and always going above and beyond. He shared, “I have had the opportunity to learn from some great coaches throughout my life, such as Derek Stephens and Pat Gordon. I am a student of the game and have learned a lot from Gregg Popovich, Mike Budenholzer, Phil Jackson, and Mike Krzyzewski.”
Based on CHS’ strong basketball record from recent years, this year’s CHS team earned a CIF San Diego rank of 19 out of the 24 teams in Division I. The Islanders face a tough conference schedule this year including match ups against Division I powerhouse schools such as Cathedral Catholic High School, Saint Augustine High School, and Mission Bay High School. The full schedule of CHS basketball games can be viewed online at https://islandersportsfoundation.com/teams/3120181/boys/basketball/varsity/schedule.