On Tuesday, for the first time in 25 years, Jerry Mike wasn’t a basketball coach when he woke up in the morning.
He resigned from his position as head coach of the Valencia girls program on Monday after spending 19 years at the helm, citing personal reasons.
“That was brutal,” Mike said. “It was a rough day. It was hard. Really, really hard. And I coached six years of varsity ball at Glendale so I have 25 years of coaching varsity girls … it was kind of a weird feeling but it’s OK because I got the opportunity and I’m grateful for it.”
In his most recent season with the Vikings, Mike coached the team to an overall record of 16-12 and a Foothill League record of 8-2, good enough for second place in the final league standings.
Mike went 373-171 overall in his career with Valencia and 140-50 in Foothill League play. He led the program to 19 straight playoff appearances and eight league titles.
In the 2016-17 season, Mike and the Vikes shared the league title with Canyon and continued on to beat the Cowboys, 50-45, for a CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA title at Honda Center in Anaheim.
“That was pretty sweet,” Mike said of the championship. “That was a great moment and I’m glad we did that for the school. That picture never gets old looking at it. It’s up in my classroom still.”
Valencia earned a ticket to the CIF State girls basketball Division II tournament, where they beat Bakersfield and Chaminade before falling to Mater Dei, 53-45.
Mike added that he’ll miss the grind of preparing for games with his coaching staff – from game plans and lunchtime shootarounds – and battling it out in the Foothill League.
“Just being there on Tuesdays and Fridays with the girls and just experiencing Foothill League intensity and playing in all those games, coaching in all those games just never got old.”
Mike, 52, plans to continue teaching biology at Valencia for several more years before retiring. He also thinks that he could resume coaching in the future.
“I don’t think I’m done. I think I have a lot to offer and I still think I’m learning,” he said. “…Maybe there’s another run in me. I wouldn’t count it out.”