Dan Krikorian has had quite a year so far six months into 2012. And, it’s only about to get better.
The Costa Mesa High alumnus leaves Wednesday for a tour with his musical group: the Dan Krikorian Band, playing in Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska
Also, there’s a reason he still ends up on the sports page of the Daily Pilot. He’s left his jobs as an assistant coach for the football and boys’ basketball teams at Costa Mesa. That’s only because he’s become an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Chapman University, his alma mater, in Orange.
“I bleed green and I love Mesa but I feel this was a great opportunity to take advantage of,” Krikorian said. “It was tough to leave Bryan [Rice, the Mustangs’ head coach] and the basketball team. Last year was a great year.”
The Costa Mesa boys’ basketball team broke the school record for most wins in a season with 19 in the 2011-12 season. The Mustangs also earned their first playoff win in seven seasons.
“It’s a big loss for our program,” Rice said of Krikorian. “He brought a lot to us. With him playing there [at Chapman] as well and being in that stage of his life, it’s the right time for him to go. I definitely wish him the best of luck. It’s not easy to replace someone like that but for him it’s the right place at the right time to move.”
It was a memorable school year for Krikorian, who is 27. He coached with his brother, Tony, another assistant for the football team that went 8-3, 4-1 in the Orange Coast League.
Tony, 24, is studying to earn a master’s degree in educational psychology at Chapman. Dan’s sister, Stacy, worked as an assistant coach for the girls’ soccer team at Costa Mesa. Stacy, 26, works nights as a nurse with labor and delivery at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.
The youngest sister, Ally, just wrapped up her junior year at Maryland, where she competes in gymnastics. Ally, 21, was the floor champion in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League and tied for first in the vault.
“It’s fun to have everyone home,” Dan said last week of the full house that also includes mom, Joanne, and dad, Paul.
Dan is leaving home for the road to play with his band. They’ll be back July 10 to play in the Concert in the Park series at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa. They are working on their fourth album, which is due out in September. Then it’s off on a European tour.
He continues to live the dream that started while at Chapman. Dan played basketball at Chapman from 2003 to 2007. While there he took a guitar class.
“I thought it might be an easy A,” Dan said. “It turned out to be a passion of mine. I’ve been really lucky to pursue both music and coaching. I’m looking forward to touring again.”
Dan enjoys coaching and playing music with his band. He hasn’t been forced to choose one or the other.
“That’s a bridge I’ll have to cross when I get there,” he said. “If it’s music or basketball, I don’t want to make that decision. But if I would need to choose one, I would see where the music will lead me. It’s a tough choice. I love them both. They both bring a lot of enjoyment for me.”
He remains excited to tour and work as an assistant coach under Coach Mike Bokosky at Chapman, which competes in NCAA Division III. Dan also played for Bokosky.
At Chapman, Dan also joins Zach Wheatley, who has been Bokosky’s assistant for the past five years. Dan and Wheatley also played together at Chapman.
“He’s going to be a good addition for us,” Wheatley said of Dan. “From skill development it will be huge to have another coach on the floor. It will benefit us … He knows coaches in the area, which is always nice. He is eager. His passion and perseverance has led him to the next level.”