Rob Streeter takes over as Dayton boys basketball coach

Needless to say, Rob Streeter was disappointed when he was bypassed for Carson High School's boys basketball post back in April.

After one door closed shut, however, another opened up for the 29-year-old coach, who last month accepted his new job as head coach of Dayton High School's boys basketball program.

He replaces Ric Garcia, who stepped down after five seasons and will now begin work as an assistant under Tom Maurer at Galena. Streeter was one of three finalists considered for Carson's head coaching position, and even though the selection committee gave the nod to Bruce Barnes, there are no misgivings. Streeter is quite content, thank you.

"Definitely, I'm excited," said Streeter, who coached Carson's J.V. team the last four years. "I get to run my own program. It's not pressure-packed like the 4A, but the competition at this level is very good as well."

Ironically, Dayton's last two head coaches had a Carson connection. Even though Garcia coached the Dust Devils, he teaches at Carson.

"Ric Garcia got this program up on its feet and got a good foundation going," Streeter said. "I'm going to be teaching out here, so I think I can take it another step. Being here on campus with the kids all throughout the school year is going to help."

The new head coach didn't waste any time getting to work, either.

"I've been busy getting this thing started," Streeter said. "We just finished up spring league last week, and now we're trying to have open gyms. I'm here for the kids who want to be here."

Open gym sessions are being held at Dayton on Monday and Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. through the rest of July.

Dayton has been to the postseason in each of the last two seasons. The Dust Devils were 14-14 this past season after ending the season with a loss to Pershing County in the Division II tournament, and they advanced to the 3A state tournament in 1999. Standouts Josh Goss, Anthony Martinez and Adam Sayre won't be back, but the cupboard is far from bare.

"We'll be pretty darn young, but there's some kids out here who are darn good players," Streeter said. "Justin Daw is going to be a heck of a player ... Jake Deen is a sophomore who looks good ... and we have Bobby Nylen back. He played for me his sophomore year at Carson."

Some talent is also coming up from a solid J.V. squad that was coached by Desi Navarro last season. Navarro is still part of the Dayton coaching staff.

Streeter expects to be busy teaching basketball.

"Teaching is a lot like coaching, you've just got to figure out what's going on and go with it," said Streeter, who will teach P.E. and science at Dayton. "Your best coaches are your better teachers - they can get through to everybody. That and you have to make the game fun for them. Hopefully, I will be able to translate my passion for the game, that it will be a little contagious with the kids and they'll want to extend their knowledge of the game.

"The things you really enjoy doing, you always fall back on, so we always try to make it fun and make it a learning experience for the kids so they can see their steps of improvement. That always adds to your self-confidence when you can see improvement," he went on. "We're not only talking basketball, it's just everything. That's just part of the high school experience. We're not only here to teach basketball, but to teach life skills, lifelong skills. That's why we're in the education business."

Much like they have the last two years, the Dust Devils will play an up-tempo style.

"For the most part, we'll be up and down," Streeter said. "I like an up-tempo, transition style of basketball. The kids enjoy that a lot more than a slowdown style, the fans enjoy watching it. We'll be playing baseline-to-baseline, pressing, getting shots up. It makes the game more exciting for everybody."

The Dust Devils will be playing in a realigned Northern 3A starting in the 2000-2001 school year.

"You got Winnemucca, I talked to Chad Peters this past weekend and they're going to be tough. Fernley has a new coach, but they're real athletic. Manogue has Johnmin Hickey, he's a talent in himself. And Truckee ... we're in one heck of a division."

The rest of the division includes North Tahoe, Yerington, ROP, Spring Creek and Dayton. The top three teams from the division will qualify for the state tournament.

Streeter has coached for six years, including one in Montana before moving to Carson in 1995. He attended Western Montana College. His wife, Suzanne, is also an assistant volleyball coach at Carson.

Streeter is looking forward to the Dayton experience.

"I'm up for the challenge," he said. "When the Carson thing didn't work out, I still knew what I wanted to do. I felt I was ready to be a head coach, I wanted to get my own program started, Dayton was interested, so things happen for a reason.

"You've got to get your foot in the door somewhere, sometime. Dayton is a growing community and there's a lot of pride out here. When you drive up here, there's a big Dayton Pride sign out in front of the school. It's a tight-knit community from what I've seen so far, and everyone's been real generous in helping me out."

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