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Boys' Basketball: Ofer takes over at Mesa

A day after holding interviews for its boys' basketball coaching vacancy, Costa Mesa High offered Mike Ofer the job on Friday morning.

Ofer accepted the position, and he will lead a varsity program for the first time.

Ofer replaces Phil Weber, who stepped down last month to focus on his family and to go back to school.

Ofer takes over a program that went 27-31 overall during Weber's two seasons in charge. The Mustangs made the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs each time, placing second in league at 8-2 in his first season and third at 6-4 this past season.

Ofer is in his first year as a physical education teacher at Costa Mesa.

"We had some really strong candidates, and Mike just stood out to everybody," said Sharon Uhl, the school's athletic director. "He's very professional. He has 20 years of experience under his belt, and it's very helpful when you have somebody on campus. We've been trying to get as many coaches on campus as possible, and this was just the perfect fit at the right time."

Ofer's last high school basketball coaching stint finished perfect as well.

As the boys' freshman coach at Newport Harbor in 2015-16, Ofer led the Sailors to a 24-0 season. Ofer, who graduated from Newport Harbor in 1992, coached on the lower levels at his alma mater for four seasons.

Uhl added that Ofer, Tony Krikorian and Steve Whitaker were the three finalists for the Costa Mesa job. In the past two seasons, Krikorian was an assistant under Weber, while Whitaker coached the junior varsity team at Costa Mesa.

Krikorian, who served as an assistant for seven seasons, and Whitaker don't teach at Costa Mesa.

"That was a big portion of it, but it wasn't just that, it wasn't just him teaching on campus, he's got more experience than the other two," Uhl said of Ofer getting the position.

Ofer said he's excited about Costa Mesa's future, with talented guard Nico Dasca returning next season as a junior, and getting advice from Bob Serven, a former Costa Mesa coach who is a P.E. teacher at the school.

Ofer played basketball for Serven at Newport Harbor. Serven also coached Whitaker when Serven was at the helm of the Mustangs.

Ofer is the Mustangs' eighth coach since Serven stepped down as Costa Mesa's coach after the 2003-04 season.

"It's kind of ironic to be sharing an office with him as a P.E. teacher now, however many years later," Ofer said. "He got out a folder of all the practice plans back from my senior year the other day. It was just fun to reminisce."

As for Serven helping Ofer out next season, that is not likely.

"His kids are so active in the stuff they're doing, and I think he's enjoying being away from coaching for a little bit. He's been at it for a really long," Ofer said. "But having his ear right next to me every day doesn't hurt."

david.carrillo@latimes.com

Twitter: @ByDCP

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