Former head coach Sam Duane Jr. takes coaching job at Perry


Photo by Sunrise File Photo

Written by Jake Pyatt, Sports Editor

Former head basketball coach Sam Duane Jr. has taken the job to become Perry’s new head coach. The Puma’s finished last season with a 14-10 record, losing to Pinnacle in the second round of the playoffs.

Duane last led the Aztecs to a fourth consecutive state championship title in 2015 with some of the best talent in the state like junior Alex Barcello, Marvin Bagley III and New Mexico freshman Dane Kuiper. The remarkable season helped land Daune the honor of winning national coach of the year by MaxPreps.

“I’m excited to get back in (to coaching),” Duane said. “The year off helped me to explore some things professionally and personally. At the end of the day my passion is coaching.”

Current head coach Neil MacDonald, who took the job after Duane resigned, saw the news coming.

“I knew he was considering it,” MacDonald said. “It was not a surprise.”

Taking a year off of coaching, Daune realized how much he missed it.

“I started to get the emotions of coaching back watching playoff games in February,” Duane said. “I would not take just any job. I was going to be very selective and Perry was very attractive.”

If the two teams play each other next year, both coaches are ready for a fun night.

“It will be fun,” MacDonald said. “I enjoy competing against coaches I respect.”

“That would be different,” Duane said. “I have no idea how that would feel until I’m in it.”

Duane who was a P.E. teacher at Corona this year, will be leaving to teach at Perry next year.

“(Corona) is my home,” Duane said. “I went to school here, my dad coached here, I played here. I’ll miss a lot of things here.”