Retired City Section basketball coaches don’t disappear and move off into the sunset. They resurface at private schools and thrive.
It’s happening at Rolling Hills Prep, where former Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani and former Carson Coach Richard Masson have the boys and girls teams playing in Tuesday’s Southern California Division V regional semifinals.
The boys team is playing Holy Martyrs at Harbor College. The girls team is playing at Heritage Christian.
Call it the revenge of the Old Geezers.
Kitani was at Fairfax for 35 years until stepping down as a coach and teacher this past season. Masson coached the boys teams at Carson and Jordan, was an athletic director and Marine League commissioner. He took over as girls coach at Rolling Hills Prep three years ago.
Together, the duo have brought incredible success for a program that has no gym on campus. Both live in the South Bay, so the commute to Rolling Hills Prep is one of the perks in retirement.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Masson said. “He lives in Torrance and has been making that drive to Fairfax forever.”
Masson lives in San Pedro and has enjoyed coaching the girls after many years being a successful boys coach and also teaching.
When his team won the Southern Section Division 6 championship, Masson had only six players available because of injuries.
“It was an amazing job the six kids did in the championship game,” he said.
The girls team is 30-3. The boys team is 26-2.
Private schools are going to be on the lookout more “retired” City Section coaches if this keeps up.