Valencia girls’ basketball announced Jared Honig as its new head coach on Monday.
Honig succeeds Kevin Honaker, who retired following the 2023 season after 14 years with the program.
The Vikings now welcome Honig to run the program, and with his resume, Valencia is in good hands.
Honig joins the Vikings after 14 years at his alma mater, Granada Hills Charter High School. He spent 10 years as the varsity girls’ coach and led the Highlanders to nine West Valley League championships, three CIF City Section title game appearances and one CIF Open Division championship.
The coach moved to Santa Clarita four years ago with his family but remained with the Highlanders. The new position will now give him more time at home to be a husband and father, as well as help his wife and kids attend more games.
Honig had always seen Valencia as a standout program and routinely scheduled games against the Vikes for Granada.
“Valencia was a place I’ve always had my eye on,” Honig said in a phone interview. “They’ve always had strong teams. I also saw their program as a strong one and one I’d model a program after. This is one of the only places I would’ve left Granada for.”
The coach will also join Valencia in the classroom, where he teaches special education mathematics.
Honig’s coaching style will include an up-tempo defense and a pass-heavy offense where “every player will have the greenlight to score.”
Valencia’s new coach will lead arguably the best returning duo in the Foothill League in soon-to-be senior Libby Oxciano and soon-to-be sophomore Cara McKell.
The duo combined for 28.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and 6.4 steals a game in 2022-23, their first season together.
“Looking at the teams across the league, I think we’re in a good spot with those two as a tandem, so I’m excited about that,” Honig said. “The vision is what we preached at Granada, just getting better every day and maximizing the ability of each individual player, which will maximize the team.”
At Granada Hills, Honig would schedule mostly Southern Section teams to prepare his team for West Valley League play. Now in the Foothill League, he’ll look to schedule games with the toughest teams in the area, potentially including stops in Granada Hills.
“I’d love to establish a non-league game against Granada each season to keep the connection,” Honig said. “It was home for so long. It could be a nice non-league rivalry.”
Honig’s Highlanders have had recent success over Valencia in the past few years, but the Vikings got the better of Granada Hills five times in the last 10 seasons.
The coach is excited to get started with Valencia in June. Honig acknowledged the line of great Vikings coaches to precede him and his desire to meet the high standards set in front of him.
“I’m really excited just to get going in the summertime and bring our style and success into the Valencia program,” Honig said. “There’s a proud history in the program. Jerry Mike had a lot of success for such a long time, and Kevin held up that success. I’m excited to meet that standard and help the girls on and off the court.”