The Kimball High boys basketball coach announced this week that the 2013-14 season was his last as the head of the Jaguars’ varsity team.
Joe Lawrence, 49, has been coaching nearly every year in Tracy for the past 29 and said that he resigned from the coaching job to give himself some personal time off. He was Kimball’s original athletic director in 2009 and stepped down from that job in 2010 to focus on basketball and teaching physical education.
Lawrence said the demands on a varsity basketball coach have become greater every year. In addition to the winter season, he keeps the team active during the summer and runs basketball camps at the school.
“From June all the way to February, you’re in the gym practicing or in summer league. It gets to be a year-round thing,” he said. “I felt that if I can’t put 100 percent into it, that’s not fair to the kids.”
He will continue teaching physical education at Kimball High but said he wants to spend more time with his family as his daughter Isabella, a junior at Kimball, gets into her senior year. His four years as the Jaguars’ head coach include two years when his son Beau, now a sophomore at San Diego State University, was on the team.
The Kimball boys have gone 50-58 during the past four years and have improved steadily to finish this year with a 16-11 record, 6-8 in the Valley Oak League. Lawrence said that the success of this year’s freshman and sophomore teams, which both won VOL titles, promises a solid future for the program.
Before coaching at Kimball High, Lawrence was the head girls basketball coach at West High for nine years, including seven years when the Wolf Pack competed in the playoffs. He also coached basketball at Clover Middle School when he first moved to Tracy in 1993 and was the freshman boys coach at West before becoming the girls head coach.
Kimball High athletic director Steve Thornton said Tracy Unified School District will look for a new coach within the district before taking on a wider search.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.