Ric Garcia got the Dayton High boys basketball program turned around in the right direction during the five years he served as the team's head coach.
It will have to be another coach, however, that leads the Dust Devils to their first state title.
Garcia, who helped the Dust Devils improve from a two-win season in 1996 to a state playoff berth in 1999, resigned as Dayton's coach on Tuesday. The Dust Devils were 14-13 last season and reached the Division II playoffs, where the team lost to Pershing County in the opening round.
"(Coach Garcia) turned the program around," said Dayton High athletics director Jeanne Utterback. "He put in a tremendous amount of time working with the team. He will be tough to replace - they're aren't that many coaches who are that dedicated."
Garcia didn't cite any one reason for resigning.
"I felt it was time," said Garcia, who remains a teacher at Carson High. "I had seriously considered (resigning) last year."
Garcia said that the ideal situation for Dayton's next basketball coach would be for that person to be both a teacher and coach at Dayton High.
"It would be a good program for someone to jump into," said Garcia, who noted the Dust Devil junior varsity went 20-5 last season.
Garcia said he didn't have any definite plans about his coaching future.
"I'll be weighing my options," said Garcia, who was an assistant at Galena High for three years and coached the Carson High freshmen for six years prior to taking over at Dayton in the 1995-96 season. "I may retire, period."
Utterback said anyone interested in the position may call her at Dayton High (246-6240) for information. If she is not available, principal Dave Regalado or vice-principal Teri White can also provide information.