Since last heading a basketball program in 2015, Ernest Baskerville has been looking for the right opportunity to possibly lure him back into the coaching ranks.
In the last three years, Baskerville, who previously led the Providence boys’ team to the most successful season in program history, passed on a number of those opportunities, although he stayed involved in basketball running tournaments, a fall league and showcases.
However, the latest coaching opportunity that arose seemed like a perfect fit, and one that Baskerville jumped at.
It became official Monday that Baskerville has been hired as the new boys’ basketball coach at Burbank High.
Baskerville takes over for Jamayne Potts, who stepped down last month and is now at Village Christian.
Baskerville said there was a great deal that attracted him to the Burbank position, and the timing was perfect.
“It’s all about timing,” said Baskerville, 44, who is also director of sports marketing for the John Wooden Award. “My family is in full circle right now and it’s a good time for me to get back into it.
“But also what attracted me to the job is Burbank is the school you want to be at in the city. Just the city of Burbank itself, being the media capital of Los Angeles, is a very attractive place to be, and I learned that when I was at Providence. I feel I’m back in the right place now and the timing is right.”
Burbank principal Michael Bertram said Baskerville was ultimately chosen from an impressive group of applicants.
“Jamayne brought character and integrity to the program and that’s something that we wanted to maintain,” Bertram said. “Ernest strikes me as the guy who can do that. When Jamayne was hired, we had less than five applicants for the job. In three years time we had almost 20 applicants for the job this time around. That says a lot. It’s a school where people wanted to come coach.”
“It was a very solid, experienced group we had to choose from and I’m thrilled to go with Ernest Baskerville and I’m looking forward to him continuing what Jamayne started, but also making his own mark and creating his own future here.”
Baskerville, a Pasadena resident, had a 36-23 record in his two years at Providence.
During Baskerville's first season at the helm in 2011-12, the Pioneers enjoyed a wildly successful campaign. Behind standout Marcus LoVett Jr., Providence (26-6) captured its first Liberty League championship in 12 years.
In addition, the Pioneers enjoyed a historic postseason run, advancing past the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals for the first time in school history. Unfortunately for Providence, its first-ever appearance in a CIF championship game ended with a 65-62 Division IV-A overtime loss to league foe Holy Martyrs.
Providence also advanced to state competition for the first time.
Following his tenure at Providence, Baskerville coached two seasons at La Salle in Pasadena, where his teams went 24-33 and 7-11 in league. In his last season during the 2014-15 campaign, the Lancers went 15-14 and 6-4 in the Camino Real League for third place.
Baskerville already enjoyed success as a coach before he came to Providence. Along with spending a season as an assistant coach for the College of the Canyons men's team, he built a successful winning program at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies in West L.A. He coached the team to four league championships from 1997-2009 and had a record of 178-168.
During the 2008-09 season, LACES captured the L.A. City Small Schools Championship.
“Ernest does have a great deal of experience, and that’s impressive,” Bertram said. “But more than that it’s his character, and I’m about character … He really struck me as a character guy.”
Baskerville inherits a program that enjoyed an upswing under Potts, who guided the Bulldogs to two 20-win seasons and his squads compiled a 62-32 overall record and went 23-19 in Pacific League to finish fourth three times.
Potts’ finest accomplishment came in the 2016-17 season. After placing fourth in the Pacific League, the Bulldogs played their best in the postseason. Burbank advanced to a CIF Southern Section championship game for the first time in 91 years, where it fell in the Division III-AA final to Brentwood in overtime, 55-54.
The Bulldogs then embarked on the deepest state playoff run in program history. Burbank, which finished 25-10, saw its season come to an end in the SoCal semifinals against Reedley Immanuel, 58- 57.
This past season, Burbank went 17-11 and 7-7 in league. The Bulldogs saw their season come to a close with an 82-73 loss to Cypress in the first round of the Division II-A playoffs.
“Being at Providence, I always respected Burbank High a lot,” said Baskerville, who cites former Bellarmine-Jefferson High coach Eli Essa as one of his coaching mentors. “Just the educational values the school possesses and also the athletic department and how they run things.