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Wolfgang Wood named head coach of St. Bonaventure High boys basketball program

Ventura County Star logo Ventura County Star 6/22/2020 Loren Ledin, Ventura County Star
a man wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Wolfgang Wood © CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Wolfgang Wood

Wolfgang Wood's basketball gene pool is deeper than the Pacific.

His father Leon was a six-year NBA veteran who's been a referee in the league for over two decades.

His mother Tia was the center for the UCLA women's basketball team and his sister Whitney played at Seton Hall.

"I've been around basketball all my life," says the 26-year-old Wood. "(Leon) is definitely a big influence for me and I've learned so much of the game from him. Same for my mom, whose taught me so much through the years."

Now the Wood family can celebrate a big-time achievement for their youngest member.

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Wood, a Santa Margarita High graduate and player who went on to star at Cal Lutheran, has been named the head coach for the St. Bonaventure High boys team. He follows Pat Frank, who resigned earlier this year after eight seasons in charge of the Seraphs.

Wood is now among the youngest head coaches in Ventura County.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," he said. "I've had coaches who have been a big influence on me, like Geoff Daines (at CLU). I've absorbed a lot from them about coaching, almost like osmosis. Now I have my opportunity and I couldn't be happier."

Wood was an assistant at Newbury Park High before joining the staff at his alma mater Santa Margarita and helped coach a CIF-SS Division 1 championship. St. Bonaventure athletic director John Muller said the school settled on Wood after three weeks of interviews and discussions.

"We've got a good one," Muller said.

The head coach at Newbury Park High offers plaudits.

"Amazing hire," tweeted Matt Eichinger. "Couldn't me more proud of my guy."

Wood has yet to meet with his new players, a situation complicated by the COVID-19 virus.

"Still trying to figure all that out, but I look forward to talking with all of them, hopefully this week," he said.

And his initial message as a first-time head coach?

"I want them to know that I'll always be there for them," said Wood. "It's important to me that they enjoy and love the game of basketball as much as I do. I want them to have a great experience."

Wood, who is Black, recognizes that he becomes a head coach at a key time in America. The Black Lives Movement is rising as a response to what many Americans perceive is systemic racism.

"I'll have those discussions with my players," said Wood. "It's important to me that I impact them not only in basketball, but in life. Coaches prepare people for the rest of their lives."

Wood takes over a Seraphs program that enjoyed stellar success under Frank. St. Bonaventure has won the past six Tri-Valley League championships and reached the CIF-SS Division 4AA championship game in 2017-2018.

"Pat Frank has laid a very strong foundation for this program," said Wood. "They've had success and they know how to win. I want to put my own stamp on it and help us reach an even higher level."

Wood said he won't be tied to a specific system as he prepares for his first season. He'll base his decisions on the players on the floor.

"I think it's important to build off the strengths of your players," he said. "If we've got players who can thrive going up and down, we'll do that. If they're best in the half-court game, we'll do that. I'll always go with what we do best."

Wood does intend to stress a gritty attitude.

"I want my players to never back down," he said. "We'll accept every challenge, and always play hard. It's not necessarily about wins and losses, but about giving your best effort every night."

Loren Ledin is the Prep Editor for The Star. He can be reached at loren.ledin@vcstar.com or 805-437-0285.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Wolfgang Wood named head coach of St. Bonaventure High boys basketball program

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