Girls Basketball: Carey resigns from coaching duties at Sacred Heart Cathedral

Sacred Heart Cathedral head girls basketball coach Mike Carey (right) glances at the scoreboard at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium on Jan. 10. Carey resigned from coaching duties on Friday. (Photo by Eric Luis)

Sacred Heart Cathedral head girls basketball coach Mike Carey (right) glances at the scoreboard at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium on Jan. 10. Carey resigned from coaching duties on Friday. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Jeremy Balan

After three years in arguably the most high-pressure coaching position in the City, Mike Carey resigned as head girls basketball coach at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Friday.

A Sacred Heart alumnus who coached the junior varsity program for 12 years prior to taking over the varsity spot, Carey went 45-42 in his varsity tenure, including back-to-back Central Coast Section Division III titles in 2011 and 2012.

“It is a weird feeling,” Carey said of his resignation. “I looked at my record the last three years and it’s right around the .500 mark. The program is not used to that. It has strived to be better that. Maybe it’s time for the program to go in a new direction.”

Ultimately, CCS titles were not enough to appease the tremendously high expectations of the program, which won four state titles under legendary head coach Brian Harrigan, Carey’s predecessor, who is now the head coach at league rival St. Francis.

“I tried not to think about it, but it was just there,” Carey said of the pressure on him and his team to live up to Harrigan’s teams, which were loaded with Division I talent. “It was the elephant in the room. Everyone was showing up thinking it should be like it was in the past. The kids were still working hard and we were still playing a tough schedule, but the stars were all aligned back then.”

When asked if he felt the expectations of him and the program were fair, Carey responded directly.

“No,” he said. “It puts pressure on not only me, but on the kids. We had a good group of athletes. We may not have been the team that won state titles in the mid 2000s, but we still had the kids, like in the mid-90s, who are hard-nosed and worked hard. It isn’t fair, but people come in with that perception of what it should be and when it’s not, then it’s trashy.”

Carey’s critics hit message boards, commented on internet stories on the team and even spoke out during Sacred Heart games to voice their displeasure, and Carey admitted that those influences ultimately got to him.

“It’s a high-pressure job and a high-profile job,” said Sacred Heart athletic director Jo Ann Momono. “It’s a reality, that’s all it is. It’s part of the culture here at Sacred Heart Cathedral, that our girls basketball program is high-profile and has unique pressures.”

Momono said the department has put out a job posting for the now-vacant position and will take applications until June 15, when the interview process will begin.

“We’re looking for the best and the brightest,” Momono said. “We’ll have someone in no later than the beginning of school year, but hopefully sooner.”

Carey expressed an interest in returning to coaching, but stressed the importance of finding a situation that fits, be it at the varsity or junior varsity level.

“I’m looking at other things,” Carey said. “I’m still interested in coaching. Is it at the varsity level? I don’t know. I love working with the kids and teaching the game, and I don’t want to give that up.”

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106 Comments on "Girls Basketball: Carey resigns from coaching duties at Sacred Heart Cathedral"

  1. Coach Mike Carey is a class guy and stepped down with class. He told it how it was and no one should live under that microscope. He won CCS titles and it wasnt enough. The peanut gallery wanted star-studded rosters along with wins. Im tremendously happy with his results. Not everyone school can compete for state basketball titles every single year. But we got spoiled with Harrigan.

    I hope the next coach understands the expectations and is up for the challenge and scrupulous critique. Thanks Coach Carey for your years of teaching and coaching. Good luck to you.

  2. I think Ari Gold should apply for the position. Deadline: June 15

    • I’d be fired in a second because I would not put up with the verbal abuse from the peanut gallery. Plus I dont have a player pipeline connection so I couldnt get the players we need to win and keep everyone happy.

  3. Josh Weinstein | May 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM |

    This is too bad. The stars were aligned for Coach Harrigan with the mix of D1 players and his coaching style and expertise. St.Francis will be a power very soon.

    It could be a wrong place at a wrong time situation for Coach Carey. His signature win was beating a favored SI team in the 2010-2011 CCS Championship game. I thought for sure that would get him over the hump with his detractors.

    SHC better have a big name in mind for his replacement who can immediately make a run at the WCAL title or go deep into the Nor Cal tournament. That seems to be the message the athletic department is putting out there as the standard right now for their program.

    • Orlando Rodriguez | May 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM |

      Big name in mind? What are we in Texas? This is freakin’ high school in S.F..

  4. Basketball Fan | May 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM |

    Thank you to Coach Carey for his years of dedication to the community of SHCP. What SHCP needs to look at is the actions of their parents and others who feel their children are entitled. They need to lose the “I” and “All about Me” mentality. Get a backbone SHCP! I think the school should start looking for the “best and the brightest” for their AD positions – really!!?! What kind of a underlying comment was that Momono? Talk around school is that the ADS should have been replaced or retired years ago.

    • I think you may be taking her comment out of context. In the phone interview I had with her, I did not feel she made that comment directed to Mike Carey at all. I asked her specifically about the search for a new coach and that’s how she answered.

  5. Good luck to Coach Carey. Stand up guy and good person!

  6. basketball guy | May 18, 2012 at 1:23 PM |

    This was probably one of the toughest set of shoes to fill. The stars were not aligned. They had the best recruits and feeder program from Mission Rec boys and girls club. That feeder ended. And here a great Coach stands, not able to hold up to the past records because the connection was lost from athletes being brought in from this program. It’s a lot easier to produce winning teams when you have the best athletes.

  7. Christopher Carey | May 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM |

    My father may have not always made the right coaching decisions or gone out to find talent, but he was a firm believer in good team basketball. I’m always happy to see people in and around highschool basketball, WCAL or not, who have been positively affected by him…this was not an easy choice of course, but I know he’s not done by a longshot…thank you to all the supporters who made his job a little easier the last 3 years, and thank you to the fans/peers/friends who have stood by him throughout his coaching career.

    • Orlando Rodriguez | May 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM |

      Well said! Thanks to both Harrigan and Carey for bringing playoff and championship basketball to SHC! It sure wasn’t there when I attended SH. Now they get spoiled with some banners and it becomes a high profile job with the highest standards expected.

  8. Big guy 24 | May 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM |

    Sad to hear cause he was moving in the right direction. Parents will always complain period, hard to shrug it off sometimes but in one ear and out the other and always do whats best for the TEAM and the school. Lets remember high school coaches don’t make millions of dollars to take the crap from parents. The AD should back the coaches during hard times…The new coach is??? one name I wish would take the job is Tony Alvaro…Coach Carey thank you for your dedication and time to the kids. Good luck in the future..Go Irish.

    • Wow that’s a name from the past! Coach Tony would not take any bs from the parents regarding whether their child is getting enough playing time, etc. Its unfortunate that it has come to Coach Carey stepping down. People had gotten really spoiled with the success that the program had under Harrigan. It came at a time when girls high school basketball was starting to rise to promenince in the state and on a national level thanks to the web media and local media also. You throw in the mix of AAU programs and this instant access of information (ESPN 24/7 programming) and no wonder the expectations became high. The AD at the school should be backing the coach first not the parent. The parents pay tuition so their child can get an education not so they play 20 minutes a game.

      But I believe the influence and interference of the parents have played a major role in the leaving of Coach Carey. There are over 300 D1 schools across the country not counting overseas universities plus junior colleges, and it is unrealistic for parents to bank their child’s future (male or female) on them getting a scholarship to go to a D1 school or even DII or DIII. Obviously education has fallen off as the focus. Accidents happen, things don’t go as planned but having an education will always be there to help pull you through.

  9. SHC Basketball Alum | May 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM |

    It’s sad to see Coach Carey leave. He’s a great guy and a fantastic coach. I played for him and although we didn’t always see eye to eye I knew he had the team’s best interest at heart. He may not have been as successful as Harrigan but he cared way more about his players than Harrigan ever did and that should count for something. He had big shoes to fill and I think he did a pretty damn good job. Not many people would be willing to take that position and he stepped up to the challenge. His first year didn’t end with a CCS title but the following two did. Say what you want about him but he definitely did a lot better than most people expected. You can only do so much when people are constantly talking trash about you as a coach and a person. It’s hard to ignore all of that. Good luck on whatever comes next coach!

  10. Im hoping for Toni Russell to be the next head coach. Shes an assistant at St. Francis under Harrigan.

    • WCAL Alum | May 18, 2012 at 3:24 PM |

      He accepted a very difficult assignment. Bottom line, Mike Carey is a class act. Who knows, maybe some hair might start growing back.

      Ms. Russell may be ready; I am sure she is on the short-list (no pun intended). Will the pressure be on her to have kids play at the level she always did. Greart athletes dont alway make great head coaches (no disrepect). i would imagine she has some great contacts with youth ball.

      Is Tim Burke up for one Last Hurrah?

    • Not too sure about a female coach at the high school level. Males seem to do a better job at the HS level. I remember SI girls had a female basketball coach about 6-8 years ago, and she got ran out of town. I don’t think they can handle the pressures of parents and alumni ridiculing their every move.

      • Sue Phillips at Mitty seems to be doing just fine JJ. Im sure she wouldnt aprreciate your opinion that males do a better job, but all she’ll do is just keep on coaching and winning like she has for the last 15 years. Julianne Guevara at SI did well in her time there. Im not sure if she coached her teams to any titles since SH won probably 80% of them while she was the head coach of SI, but her SI teams I think always finished in the top half of WCAL/GPSL.

      • Roll Cats | May 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM |

        @JJ I completely disagree and think Toni Russell would be a phenomenal head coach at Sacred Heart. They would be very lucky to have her. She is very active on Coach Harrigan’s sideline and has the poise and knowledge of the game to really succeed in the WCAL and beyond, which is clearly where the Irish program wants to go. I always thought Coach Carey did a nice job, and that he simply did not have the talent that Coach Harrigan had while he was at Sacred Heart. The girls were a competitive bunch these past few years, and I’m sure the returning talent will be anxiously awaiting the announcement of their new head coach.

      • That’s a bit sexist don’t you think?

        • I don’t think it’s sexist, because I feel that a high school female may listen to a male figure more attentively. The last thing a HS female baller wants is a female coach yelling at her, because it would feel like your Mom is telling you to clean your room.. As for Sue Phillips at Mitty, I think it’s kind of difficult to really say she has great coaching ability since she always gets the top basketball players in the Bay Area every year. It’s like saying Pat Summitt and Tara Vanderveer at Stanford are great coaches when they always get the top HS players in the nation every year. Anyone can be a great coach when you have 4 to 5 D1 recruits on your roster every year. Good luck to Miss Russell if she decides to apply for the job.

          • Kezar for Keeps | May 18, 2012 at 8:39 PM |

            What you just said is the definition of being sexist. Implying that teenage girls won’t listen to a female coach is ridiculous. Maybe they don’t want to listen to a male coach because it’s like their dad is yelling at them. Your arguments are just laughable.

            • I admit there are times I say really dumb things just to stir the pot, but JJ you really take the cake on this one. You just arent stirring the pot but the brew you are stirring reeks of your chovanistic personality. Did they teach you that at SI?

            • Nah, HS girls usually listen to their Dad more than their Mom

              • As a high school girl, I disagree. I listen to both my parents equally, but a lot of the time my mom is more successful at getting me to do something than my dad is…
                (a portion of this comment has been edited)

              • City Lights | May 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM |

                Woooow… JJ, you look incredibly foolish. You actually make the entire SI community look foolish with your completely idiotic generalizations. Just because you didn’t listen to your mother doesn’t mean “high school girls” would rather listen to a male coach. If I were “shakin’ my darn head” any harder I’d get a concussion.

                By the way, Guevara was a great coach at SI. “Run out of town” may be up for debate. Perhaps you should ask the “Good Ol Boys” about that one.

                Your sexist diharrea of the mouth is appalling. Unbelievable.

              • How do the comments of one commenter make an entire community look foolish? Is Mr JJ the President of SI or their spokesman? I’ve seen some outlandish comments made by posters representing ALL schools on this board so for you to say it makes the entire SI community look bad is a bit foolish on your part.

  11. I would love to see Toni get the position. Not only is she a great friend, but an awesome coach….

  12. JustSayin | May 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM |

    I’m not a big fan of Coach Carey’s coaching style, but he’s a cool guy, and what he endured this last season was disgusting. There were a handful of parents that were demanding unrealistic outcomes and really set the tone for the season. I heard of a crazy parent harassing the school to force their daughter on the team??? Let’s hope that nutcase doesn’t try to transfer their kid back to SH. The demands from some parents are too much. I hope whomever takes over, comes with a plan and starts with a fresh team and gets rid of the crazy trouble making parents. Good luck Coach.

  13. Sunset Fog | May 18, 2012 at 4:31 PM |

    Wow 42 losses in 3 years, thats alot of losing!!

    • thecityplanner | May 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM |

      First of all, Toni Russell is the OBVIOUS choice for this job. All the kids love her and she has complete poise. Im not even going to address that sexist comment which was just plain ignorant. I will agree that most AAU girls are pushed by their Dads but SH has plenty of players with strong moms too. Mitty’s coach has built a great AAU program and thus gets great players which SHE HAS DEVELOPED most of the time.

      As far as Mr Carey goes, like his colleagues across the City, he was in over his head from the beginning. In the WCAL, you are either “all in” or you will be toast. What I mean by “all in” is that you have to have a commitment to the AAU game and know your players or you will be coaching in ignorance.

      When Coach Carey sat TJ for most of the Bruce Mahoney game 2 years ago, it was a NEON sign that he didnt know what he was doing. TJ was a senior and a great player who is lightening fast and has a strong 3 point shot. SI only had one athletic player, Maria, to guard that type of player and Carey decided to bench TJ. That was an insult to a senior and your arguably best player. Maybe Carey was trying to make a point…he did…he made the point that SH was 20 points worse than SI. The next recruiting class chose SI over SH.

      SI isnt much better. The only reason SI got Eilese OConnor was because SH was so stacked at the time. That was a HUGE mistake by Harrigan not to convince OConnor to go to SH where her father and brother had gone. With OConnor at the ppitguard hel, the pedulum swung to SI.

      However, even with the line up SI had this year and the “great” season that they had…they still lost 4 out of 5 to MITTY and had no one to stop Kelli Hayes who is just a sophomore.

      The 2012/13/14 classes at Mission rec had very little height and at the end of the day, that is what did SH and Carey in ( as well as losing Eiliese to SI). With SI graduating 7 seniors and with Mulkerrins doing such a poor job at developing a backcourt of the future you will see the pendulum gently swing back to SI as Lualulu will lead SH past the Wildcats.

      The thing about Harrigan is that he knew when to get out of the way and let great players play…he didnt need to do a lot of coaching. Oscar Jimenez had done it for him when he grew a great group of girls that ended up winning a national championship. Harrigan never would have benched TJ in the Bruce game…but he also dumped the program after his starters and he didnt secure OConnor from going to SI.

      Life goes on.

    • Orlando Rodriguez | May 18, 2012 at 11:21 PM |

      2 banners in 3 years. That’s damn good.

      • Basketball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 8:04 AM |

        And here it is – all about Mission Rec and AAU again. There are kids who can play basketball and are not involved in AAU. If a school is relying on having kids come from one program and just because they can “play” basketball then there is a problem. Also problems do occur when kids who play together and think that the light should always shine on them (the “I” not “Team” attitude) come into a bigger venue. Automatically there is division amongst members of a chosen team, especially if one of their group is not picked. And never mind the parents, who have the same attitude, that come with them. . . instead of supporting the team there is behind the back comments that only fuel this division. I have heard comments that they are concerned that if their kid is not highlighted then future scholarships will not come through – again about the “I”. From what I understand TJ is doing really well and has moved on and the adults need to do the same.

  14. Old School SH | May 18, 2012 at 9:59 PM |

    Agreed that Coach Carey represents class, dignity, and passion as well as anyone who’s ever walked the sidelines at SHC. Like many others who’ve followed legends, some felt Mike needed to fill big shoes and meet huge (and unrealistic) expectations. Brian Harrigan benefited from a great talent pipeline, which started to run dry about 4 years ago. You can’t win at an elite level without elite talent–period! This team plays in the toughest girls’ league in the nation–hands down.
    What bothers me is that a school which for many years had 1 (1972 Hoops until 1990 hoops), that’s right one CCS, banner hanging in its gym lost its patience with a man who hung 2 in 3 years! SHC won 4 CCS titles this year and was a couple of steps away from making it 5! It seems to me some people–not coaches nor athletes–have some very unrealistic expectations on Ellis Street. Knowing many people involved in this situation makes me suspect some of whatever rumbling that took place came from SHC’s mid to upper level management. That campus seems full of people who care about basketball when the Irish play SI at USF,p lay in the WCAL playoffs, CCS and NorCal. They don’t see what work goes on behind the scenes and during the lower profile contests. The athletic directors need to stand by their coaches and not just parrot what the third floor suits and some parents tell them to say.

    (A portion of this comment has been edited)

    If SH fails to keep the right people in the right places as coaches, then expect the campus to turn into the athletic achievement wasteland it was from the late 60’s until the mid 90’s! Some parents may wish Riordan was going co-ed to, since they now seem to have people in authority who get it!

  15. thecityplanner | May 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM |

    SH lost to SI in the CCS because LUALULU took over and played the way she can instead of worrying about what plays the coach wanted. SH lost to SI because Mulkerrinns hadn’t done his homework and had no idea how good LUALULU was or how to stop here. It was not bc Carey did a great coaching job. SI LOST THE GAME as much as SH won it.

    Do I believe he should be let go or resign? Im not saying that. 2 CCS banners is significant.

    I do believe that Toni Russell is a better fit and that she will get the players to come to SH once again. In the end SH will benefit from that change.

    Toni Russell is ” ALL IN”

    • Johnny Drama | May 19, 2012 at 7:22 AM |

      Girls basketball, like the WNBA is light entertainment but I do agree that Toni Russell has all the assets needed to de well! I hope she gets the gig!

    • Basketball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 7:51 AM |

      This talk of how AAU is getting old. The problem with AAU lies in that the kids are fed that they are top notch players and deserve everything their parents and selves think they should get from others. Let’s be realistic – AAU is about the money. A child should go to a high school because he/she and family thinks it is a good fit. ACADEMICS people – did we forget about that piece! Playing any sport is a privilege and if one makes the team he/she should be working hard for the TEAM goals not individual ones. At SHCP we see and hear the comments and whining of the parents and the administration loses their backbones. Coach Carey – thank you for your dedication and good luck to whomever SHCP brings to coaching team.

      • thecityplanner | May 19, 2012 at 2:32 PM |

        BB FAN-

        In general I totally agree with you and it should just be an honor to make the team and represent your school…but

        a) tell that to Mitty, St Francis, Bellermine, and Serra. if the SI and SH communities are satisfied with your idea then they need to get out of the WCAL and join another league. No big deal. There is nothing wrong with playing at a lower level.

        b) when SH won 3 state championships in a row there was automatically a change of attitude and expectations…period.

        c) and as far as AAU goes….well…every all league player in the WCAL is a top notch AAU player. If parents arent willing to commit to the grind of AAU basketball then their child will fall behind…period. SI had its ass kicked by a sophomore from MITTY who is a top notch player who plays year round. She will continue to kick their ass for the next 2 years…and SH’s.

        d) the other issue is the fundamental fact that San Francisco does not support kids sports like smaller suburban communities do or San Jose and even Oakland. Sj and Oakland produce 20 times more college prospects than SF in the big three sports. SI and SH are not even relevant in most WCAL sports and the only reason why they are relevant in girls basketball is….AAU programs like MRC. SI is only kicking ass in lacrosse and thats because all the kids are bussed in from Marin. That will stop soon too as the suburban schools learn improve their lacrosse programs. SI had a head start bc they started their program early and the program was disconnected from the rest mediocre sports program and non-SI coaches were “allowed” to coach bc the AD didnt even care about Lacrosse.

        SI really shouldn’t even field a football team.

        • your last sentence doesn’t even make sense. “SI shouldn’t even field a football team.” huh?? Even though SI hasn’t won many championships in the WCAL, their football teams have always played hard, have been entertaining to watch, and have a storied history. Or did you mean SHC? when they went independent for a few years because they kept losing 0-56 to Bellarmine.

        • That comment is ridiculous. SI beat SH in CCS and won the trophy 45 times and most of those times SI beat SH in football. So if SI shouldn’t field a football team the same could be said about SH

          • thecityplanner | May 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM |

            I think SI was 1-5-1 in the WCAL last year when they “WON” the CCS. …..really? 1-5-1?

            I think the year before they were 1-6 in the WCAL.


  16. There will be other people applying for the job, so it is unfair to the other applicants to say that Toni Russell is the obvious choice or the best candidate. Other people, both male and female, non-SHC alums, and maybe SI alums like Nicole Canepa might apply for the job, but for me, I think a male should be picked, but if the SHC administrators feel that a female is the best fit, that’s their decision, just like if you want a woman president, but I don’t.

    • thecityplanner | May 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM |

      just got to say that emphasizing that SH should hire a male is one of the stupidest things I have heard in a while. They should hire the BEST CANDIDATE.

      MITTY is kicking everyone’s backsides and they are coached by a woman who is dedicated to her team all year…thats why they are good and why she has created an elite program and why SH has fallen off. St Marys Stockton has a similar situation.

      • Johnny Drama | May 20, 2012 at 8:43 PM |

        Almost as stupid as SI dropping football after winning a CCS championship last year over your school.

        • thecityplanner | May 20, 2012 at 11:08 PM |


          SI won a very very weak CCS D3 championship with a very soft CCS schedule after getting their ass kicked all season in the WCAL. SI lost 38-14 to SH during the regular season and lost to Bell 54-14. They were 1-5-1 in WCAL play.

          1-5-1. really??

          Alright…I take it back that they shouldn’t have a football team but the reality is they usually aren’t very good.

          Oh yeah…2-7-1 in 2010…1-6 in the WCAL(only win was over SH)

          Looking forward to next season!

          • They beat 2 WCAL schools in VC and SHC en route to winning that CCS title. If SHC would have won it then it wouldn’t have been weak correct? What about your CCS titles in basketball? Are they weak as well?

  17. Nor Cal Girls Basketball Long-time Fan | May 18, 2012 at 11:44 PM |

    Guys and Gals,

    I saw the SH girls play at our Dougherty Valley tournament this season. Sorry, parents, but your daughters are not as talented as you may think they are.

    The team played very hard, was well coached, represented SH well and it seemed like they enjoyed playing for Coach Carey. However, they were not talented enough to come close to being compared the elite level players that you had a few years ago. If this is all about your daughters getting college scholarships, then get real!

    By the way, I read the comments about players choosing schools to attend and coaches being plugged into the AAU pipeline. Are you inferring that the coaches in The City are “recruiting” players? If so, isn’t that against CCS and CIF rules?

    It is apparent that certain parents and “supporters” at SH have no perspective on what is important and forced Coach Carey out. Shame on SH for not having the backbone to stand up to these people.

    If you have not figured it out yet ,”recruits” ruin your athletic teams – they come with a sense of entitlement, as apparently their parents do, too.

    To the SH administration – be careful, you may have created a situation that will rapidly get out of control.

    • thecityplanner | May 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM |

      I agree with Nor cal’s comments.

      the talent at SH is not as good as some people and parents think its is. They are good but they’re not great.

      Its amazing that Carey was able to coax 2 CCS banners (although they prob would have lost to SI this year if SI stayed in D3).

      However…a good coach needs to neautralize negative parents and players. Even if it means kicking them off the team.

      As far as TJ’s play in the Bruce Mahoney game? she did not start even though she was a Senior….and she played limited minutes. SH lost by about 20..maybe 24. it was sad. SH would have lost to SI with TJ or without but they would not have lost by 24 if TJ had been in the majority of the game. She might have had a “bad atitude” but that’s the coaches responsibility to coach the “bad attitude” players (who can BALL!).

      • Basketball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 5:21 PM |

        I agree that the coach needs to neutralize “bad attitudes” even if it means kicking them off the team. What a coach needs for support are ADS who will back him in the decision. Coach Carey did not have the backing of his ADs at SHCP. They were quick to support the parents and in turn create and support an atmosphere of entitlement. Other schools have ADs and administration that believe in their coaches and back them.

    • Nor Cal Girls Basketball Long-time Fan,

      I’m glad that someone else caught this “recruiting” issue.

      To answer your question, not all City schools “recruit.” The schools in the AAA (all of the public schools) do not use this practice. However, the WCAL does. It is against the rules for public schools to practice “recruiting” methods. There are no such restrictions for Catholic and private schools.

      But what it all comes down to is supporting the coach. Seemingly, there was a lack of support for Coach Carey at SHC. It makes me wonder if he was indirectly “forced out.” I’m not saying that he was, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this was the case. My question is, if Coach Barbour (the boy’s coach) doesn’t continue to win as expected, will all of his achievements be overlooked and lose the support that he currently has?

      I hope whoever replaces Coach Carey is up for the tough task ahead of them. Best of luck to SHC’s girl’s basketball program.

      • You are incorrect about “recruiting.” It is not allowed in high school athletics, at any school, at any level.

        • WCAL Alum | May 21, 2012 at 8:46 AM |

          “Recruiting” is not allowed – true. However, “marketing” your school is. Each of the private catholic schools operate summer and winter camps, have annual open-house, admission directors routinely go to local catholic schools, and some schools allow teams to play games on their fields. All these endeavors are allowed within the rules.

          Some schools take it to the extreme. There is no surprise that some club teams are alligned with coaches who have solid contacts at particular schools. Mostly done for basketball. Schools like St. Francis down the peninsula have now taken this approach with baseball. There is a San Francisco student that is going to play at St. Francis (Mt. View) because he plays for a team alligned with St. Francis contacts.

          As Captain Renault in Casablanca exaults, ” Im Shocked, SHOCKED! that gambling is going on in here !” As he pockets his winnings…..

          • This is probably a better explaination than the one that I put in my previous comment.

            Thank you JB for the correction.

  18. Kevin Wade | May 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM |

    Class act. Unrealistic expectations? Of course. Don’t try to tell me there wasn’t a vacuum when his predecessor bounced. Give credit where credit is due. Coach Carrey still got banners even as the coaching in the league got better(Mulkerrinns can flat out coach.) Personally, when my daughter attended a couple of summer hoop camps at SHwhere Coach Carrey worked directly with her. She benefitted greatly. I just wish he was going to be there in a few years when my daughter enrolls. He would have been a part of the many titles they are going to win.

    • thecityplanner | May 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM |

      Kevin W-

      If Mulkerrins could “flat out couch” he would not have lost to Mitty 4 out of 5 times. Mitty is good but they are not unbeatable like SH was in the “glory years.” SI is good bc SI got some good Mission Rec players bc they couldnt get playing time at SH (eillese, rocky, maria) Now SI are getting girls from other programs who are strong.

      This was Si’s best chance to go to the State and they didnt come close bc the coach did not make the necessary changes in the game plan. SI also got beaten easily by Berkeley High in a game that was winnable but SI could not defend the quicker BH little guards. Mulk fits the traditional SI style and he will get good players but never win it all like SH did.

      Mitty’s coach can flat out coach.

      • Basketball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM |

        Sue can flat out coach. And again, Mission Rec is not the answer to women’s basketball. The “I” and not “Us” attitudes of many of the players and mostly parents is causing hurt and bad feelings.

      • ralphspecter | May 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM |

        @ city planner.I couldn’t agree more. Right on the button! We will see what happens next season with SI’s girls varsity. They’re supposed to win WCAL ,CCS , etc. because of the elite players they’ve got! According to what i heard the incoming SHCP coach whoever he/she is will and can do anything he/she wants with the program, including cutting players from the team.

        • Last year, SI boys’ team was suppose to go all the way with the players they had too…Let us see how they do again…The SI boys’ team greatly faltered and didn’t even finish .500.

          • thecityplanner | May 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM |

            Correction….SI lost 3 out of 4 to Mitty..not 4 out of 5….SI then lost by 23 to St Marys Stockton. Mitty then beat St Mary’s in the NorCal final before winning the State Championship..and this was a “down year” for Mitty, and a “up year” for SI, and SI lost 3 out of 4. A great coach makes adjustments and figures out a way to better than losing 3 out of 4.

            I would argue that Carey did more with less talent and Mulkerrins did less with more talent.

            • St Mary’s should’ve beat Mitty at Arco, but they choked in the 2nd half. SI had to travel to Stockton during rush hour. As for SI is better than Mitty, Mitty had 2 D1 recruits this year, as well as a nationally ranked sophomore who is probably being recruited by Stanford, Tennessee, and Connecticut. SI, on the other hand, has 1 D2 or D3 recruit with alot of freshmen, so I don’t see how SI is on par with Mitty.

            • The SI girls were WCAL CO-Champs….that’s a huge accomplishment. Mitty won state both boys and girls. They are a powerhouse at this time. Using your logic, SHC boys lost to Mitty 3 times and lost state so they underachieved as well.

  19. The AD’s need to be replaced ASAP. This just shows how another school alum has had enough with the school, Where it is and where it’s going. Alumni that return to teach and/or coach have been getting crapped on and those that have no prior connection to the school are treated like gold. It’s sad and pathetic. The school is slowly sinking. I as an alum am disgusted and have been for quite some time. No more school functions for me. I’m done.

    • Basketball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM |

      I have been in conversation with people who have been supportive of the program. About 50 of us are done with it all too. Onward to watching team basketball at a school that supports the “Us” and not “I”.

    • thecityplanner | May 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM |

      City Fan.

      you’re points are valid about wanting to hire SH or SI grads. I think it’s warm and fuzzy to hire products of the school.

      I suggest that you also advocate for dropping out of the WCAL bc if you just want to hire SH grads and pat them on the back then you should also want to embrace the overall concept of mediocrity. Hiring people bc they are graduates of the same school is the best way to ensure mediocrity. Sorry. SI and SH are stacked with coaches that are SI/SH grads and the end result is that they are always in the middle or bottom of the WCAL.

      Having said that..Toni Russell is a great choice bc she knows the school but went out into the world and added to that. Like I said before…TR is “ALL IN.”

      Go ahead and have a talent search…you wont do better than Toni. She might not want the job though after all this drama.

      • Basketball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 5:26 PM |

        Toni is a classy lady with too much integrity to want to coach at a school where the ADs and administration has no backbone to support their coaching staff.

        • JustSayin | May 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM |

          @MRCBacker – unfortunately the MRC program isn’t what it used to be. It’s obvious the program’s founder was the rock of the program. It could be the city doesn’t have the programs back due to the lack of leadership? I find it hard to believe players have been stolen, maybe players left for better opportunities. Players usually leave on their own will. Good luck to your program.

  20. TJ got benched because she was having a horrible game, shooting and me.I saw the game.and S.I also had Rocky and another guard who were doing an awesome job of guarding TJ.maria played forward and was nowhere around..harrigan did the same thing when he coached, so that makes no sense…plain and simple if someone “doesn’t” know what they’re doing then how are they still in a profession they started in 15 years ago?don’t give me that…AAU ball doesn’t match regular highschool, especially WCAL ball, I hate when people say AAU run-and-gun is preparation.I’m sure beating a less-stacked team by 50/60/70 points really boosts playing skills…whoever coaches next year,and the year after,and after that is gonna have the same problem because the talent is not as good.plain and simple.there’s no kiki moore,lauren bell,jazmine jackson,tierra rodgers,and kamilah jackson starting lineup…

    • thecityplanner | May 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM |

      Mr Carey

      I agree completely that the talent level at SH dropped off in a major way when youre father took over. I pointed out before that I actually think it was totally tacky for Harrigan to “step down” at the exact same time that his “stars” were graduating…and then reappear at SF 2 years later? not cool.

      I think Coach Carey did an admirable job.

      Having said that…at the end of the day, if you want to win in the WCAL it is all about AAU BASKETBALL.

      Name one really really strong player in the City during the last 5 years who did not play elite AAU basketball?

      Again…if one doesn’t want to deal with the uber competition in the AAU elite levels, you don’t have to. There are hundreds of schools in the Bay who are not connected to the elite AAU programs. However..if you want to be in the WCAL I suggest you have the interest to be connected to the AAU programs. sorry.

  21. JustSayin | May 19, 2012 at 4:31 PM |

    AAU, MRC, scholarships, Alumni, Toni Russell… This is sickening. Sports is all about finding the right pieces to make build a solid team. Great athletes don’t make great coaches. Be careful what you ask for. Just like the Roman Empire MRC is tumbling and the mighty Cesar at MRC isn’t doing so well at the AAU level. Come on folks let’s move on. Harrigan is gone. Mike Carey resigned. Toni Russell doesn’t have the job… Just let things fall into place. Perhaps SHCP should folks on good sportsmanship rather than needy parents.

  22. SH Baseball Fan | May 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM |

    This makes no sense. SH is so worried about girl’s basketball, the “high profile” sport,and asking a great coach and alumni of SH to step down? If the Bruce Mahoney trophy ever came down to baseball the “high profile” program that the world would see is the Baseball Program at SH. Why don’t they perge the coaches in the baseball program like this? If the AD’s are looking for stuff to do, that where they should be concentrating their efforts.

    • It may have to do with which sports make the most money for the athletic department. For a lot of schools, the football and basketball programs bring in the most revenue, so those programs are mainly being watched a lot more closely than the other sports. This, in turn, puts more pressure on the coaches in these respective sports to win and be successful. Is it fair? By no means is it fair. However, it’s reality….especially in a high profile league such as the WCAL.

  23. Johnny Drama | May 19, 2012 at 7:35 PM |

    To quote my main man ARi Gold……” I love all this SHC on SHC crime” !

    Harrigan, Forslund, Reardon (the first time) all left when their very talented players graduated and their cupboard was bare. We’ll see if Barbour stays much longer unless they reload because their returning players are very average. If this board is any indication of what he will deal with when he is in a 4 way battle with SI, ARHS, VC for last place in the WCAL, he will be the next to go.

  24. MRC BACKER | May 20, 2012 at 8:13 AM |

    @justsayin who are you to be saying that MRC is crumbling! Yea we might not be at our best but we are still here! Losing Oscar was devastating to our program but don’t knock maybe because you “just heard” it’s hard to run an AAU program in the city when 1)there’s a new AAU team everyday 2) there’s an AAU/Asian league team stealing all your players (make that 2 teams & that coach is taking all the credit for all they have learned from Oscar) & 3) the city just doesn’t have our back. So for you to be saying that we are crumbling is not true we still have 6 teams. Check your facts @justsayin!

  25. merkinworld | May 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM |

    In my humble opinion, the biggest problem in SF is not the coaches but the lack of athletes. Demographics have changed the city. The middle class has left. The city is too costly for families to live here.This city caters to single, affluent people with no kids. How many catholic grade schools have closed their doors. If SI, SH and Riordan combined their football teams they would not only compete with the south bay schools, but probably win a championship. When I was at SI there was no BCL. SI has gone regional to survive. The middle class in SF has shrunk. The cops and firemen live in the suburbs, along with their kids. The physical talent and the money for youth programs is just not here. As a native I will always support SI, SH, Riordan and all of the public schools in the AAA, and the teams in the BCL. People need to lighten up the coaches, they aren’t in for the money.

    • Johnny Drama | May 20, 2012 at 8:26 PM |

      I’ve posted this several times on this board. All the talent that used to be in SF has moved to the East Bay or Sacramento area.

      • And parts of the Penninsula.

      • merkinworld | May 21, 2012 at 8:46 AM |

        You are right. Nor-cal D1 boys basketball is a perfect example. All the best teams in 2012 were either from the east bay or Sacramento area.

    • I agree, get rid of BCL. If SHC SI and Riordan combined to make one football team, WE would be pretty good, and it would be much cheaper for the schools. We just don’t have the talent like the suburbs to compete in football. Look at the football records since 1970, none of the SF schools other than SI did well a few years, but SI has all the facilities.

      • ARHS Stats | May 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM |

        The Riordan Football team were the WCAL Champions in 2000 and CCS Champions in 2007 (Medium Schools).

        All 3 San Francisco WCAL Schools have won a CCS Championship in Football in the last 10 years.

        • merkinworld | May 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM |

          Thank God the CCS broke football down from one division or the city schools would still be waiting for a CCS championship.

  26. @ MRC BACKER, stop making excuses and Move on. Blaming other AAU teams and programs doesn’t justify losing 7 teams. The fact of the matter is parents wanted better oppurtunities for their kids and that is exactly what they did. ” JustSayin” is correct on his analysis. It’s not the same program. Give credit to the girls from growing from what Oscar has started and devloping themselves from other great philosphies from other coaches and programs. Above all, let go of the ” bad blood ” and move on. We all have!

  27. Good luck to Coach Carey. Stand up guy and good person!

  28. MRC BACKER | May 21, 2012 at 9:24 AM |

    LoL @justsayn & @Reedy you guys sound like the ones that left. @Reedy you sound so angry, for what! RELAX your on a “better” team now. LOL!

  29. @ MRC BACKER. you are the one who is angry because you can’t let go. When you refer to ” stolen”, you are implying it is yours. And when you have to keep bringing in the same subject into play, it’s bitterness you are portraying. They are gone, let it go!

    • thecityplanner | May 21, 2012 at 4:31 PM |


      MRC backer is not being bitter…they are stating the facts of what happened. The 2015 class (or lack of) had no loyalty to MRC and that’s that. Never before had a MRC team been comprised of so many Westside girls and suburban kids. The parents did not integrate with the already rooted parents and families that came before them and thus many of them had one foot in the door and one foot out the door.

      No big deal…so they left. Whatev.

      Every family needs to do whats best for them. However, my point is…. just bc one class imploded (before Oscar passed) it does not mean that MRC is no longer strong. It is but in the way that it was before it got trendy.

      I actually made a point to Oscar specifically that the 2015 class was so unlike previous MRC groups of girls that the program was straying from the original intent.

  30. SHCP Critic | May 21, 2012 at 10:36 AM |

    It will be interesting to see what path the boys’ program takes once the Rebels’ pipeline begins its inevitable decline. It is sad to see the school administration use “diversity” as a way of importing talent that wouldn’t normally be at the school.

  31. JustSayin | May 21, 2012 at 11:07 AM |

    Wait! Wasn’t this post and thread about the resignation of Mike Carey? We got sexist, possible recruitting infractions, football, baseball, boys basketball , insensitive remarks, scorn aau followers…. No school or coach is better than the next. Tidal waves come and go, let’s hope SH can get their program back on track and have a good season. Mike Carey deserves his pat on the back for the good work he did with the talent and support he had or lack of. It will be a new season and learning experience for all.

    • Basketball Fan | May 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM |

      I agree JustSayin . . . this post and thread has lost its original intent. I hope that the SHC program can get back on track too. Thanks again Coach for your dedication and loyalty to the SHCP Women’s Basketball Program. I know your step up to the varsity position had all of the good intention behind it because you believe in the program! I am sure we will see you continuing your mentoring and teaching of the sport soon.

  32. @thecityplanner. It’s not a fact a to state the team was stolen and someone else is taking the credit. When someone keeps repeating that the teams were stolen is false and untrue and to only believe one side without the other isn’t a complete story. A lot of girls have left aside those teams , many who have been there since 4th grade. But to always make a point to those teams is wrong. Parents make the decisions and they chose what’s best. I understand what you are saying but just because a group of girls left, doesn’t affect a program. It happens a lot around the AAU circuit. I’m saying it’s time to move on and stop using those girls as a reason for the program not having more teams.

    • thecityplanner | May 23, 2012 at 6:40 PM |

      my follow up point which was quite well written was removed by the moderator :)

  33. I’m tired of hearing about MRC. That’s not what this story is about. The few who have hijacked the conversation to bicker about AAU teams is beginning to become intolerable. No more comments on this topic will be approved.

  34. Who does the SH women team have returning next year ?

    Any stand outs ?

    How many Jv talent ?

    SH TEAM ?

    • The players that stood out, who will be back next year, was the girl with the hyphenated last name, and the freshman point guard who was like 12 or 13 years old. Not sure if Gainer or Smith will be back.

      • Lualu-Summers is her name and Gainer and Smith will be Seniors so they’ll be back. Add the freshman point guard along with a few girls from JV, they might have something.

        • SHC Freshman girls went 20-0…they have a great foundation to work with..

          • Basketball Fan | May 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM |

            I agree. I watched all three teams play at different points of the season and was impressed by the teamwork displayed by the freshman team. I stopped going to the jv games as there seemed to be a lot of friction between different players. I think having to do with court time. A lot of pouty and bad attitude demeanor.

  35. SHC Alumni | May 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM |

    @ Basketball Fan

    I think this is the 3rd time or so you have talked bad on SHC JV team, what’s your deal? Daughter didn’t get playing time or got cut? It’s a trip how adults get on this board and rip on high school kids. What a joke!! The games I saw of JV’s they played hard and as a team, and there is a lot of talent on that team! A few of those girls should have been on varsity this year to be frank.. Frosh has a good team too, stop knocking high school kids and get a life.

    • Basketball Fan | May 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM |

      I am not knocking the teams – I am a big supporter of SHCP. I apologize if I came across that way. I am hoping to see team basketball continue at SHCP. My children played hard at SHCP and went on to do great things at their colleges.

    • The Frosh girls were undefeated.

      • City Lights | May 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM |

        That might be because SI’s frosh girls were starting for the varsity team.

        • I didnt know that the SI’s frosh girls were starters on the varsity team. Did the get a lot of mins on the floor? Good for them.

          • thecityplanner | May 23, 2012 at 6:47 PM |

            Si started one frosh who is 6’1 who played pretty well and was 2nd team all league. Soft interior defense which will improve as she gets older and “bulks up” a little.

            The SI “6th man” was a 5’11 frosh who is solid and aggressive and will a good player.

            One other frosh played varsity but didnt play too much.

            SI JV team also went undefeated I believe. While Mulkerrins gets credit for developing some frosh talent I think that next year will take some time to come together bc they lose 7 seniors and most of their scoring. It should be a good time for SH to win the Bruce game. SI is not settled at guardplay at all and SH has great guards coming back in Lualulu and Smith.

            it will be a good game

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