Costa Mesa High named Samantha Doucette as its new girls’ basketball coach on Tuesday.
Doucette, 24, brings a winning pedigree to the Mustangs. As a player, she won a CIF Southern Section Division 3A title with Woodbridge in 2009.
While playing with the Vanguard University women’s basketball team, Doucette scored 1,593 points during her four seasons. She was named a three-time NAIA All-American and All-Golden State Athletic Conference selection.
After her playing days, Doucette spent a year coaching at Concordia University as a graduate assistant. She then moved on to Hope International University, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
Mustangs athletic director Sharon Uhl said that Doucette was highly recommended by her former coach at Vanguard, NAIA Hall of Famer Russ Davis.
“She is a great communicator and will be able to reach our female athletes through her hands on approach and willingness to build this program back to where it used to be [with three levels competing],” Uhl said via email. “She is who we need to motivate our female athletes and get them to love the game again. She will be able to bring back those that left the program.”
Costa Mesa’s program had seen its numbers dwindle. There were as few as eight players on the varsity roster and six in the playing rotation in Carlos Juarez’s final year as the Mustangs’ coach.
Juarez coached two seasons at Costa Mesa. His team went 7-13 overall and finished fifth in the Orange Coast League at 3-7 in the 2017-18 season. In his first season, he led the Mustangs to 10-16 overall and 6-4 in league, good enough for a runner-up finish and berth into the CIF Southern Section Division 4A playoffs.
“I know the history that Costa Mesa has had, especially in recent years, and I just feel that it’s time that [it] had a good coach who is going to see the girls as people before I see them as players,” Doucette said. “I pride myself on building strong relationships that are going to last a lot longer than just their four years of high school.”
Costa Mesa’s last winning season came in the 2013-14 campaign, when the Mustangs went 14-12 under Nichole Maddox.