When I found out Dan Krikorian was named boys' basketball coach at Costa Mesa High Tuesday morning a smile came to my face.
What a great hire.
Aside from getting a coach who knows the game real well, the Mustangs have a great leader. Krikorian will lead by example. This can be much more important than wins. He will prepare the players for life outside of basketball.
Krikorian, or Danny as I know him, was a standout at Costa Mesa. As a student and basketball player for the Mustangs he was the type of person that was simply described as a "good kid."
He was a delight to report on when he played for Costa Mesa. Always respectful. Talking trash during a basketball game or trying to showboat during a layup, that was not him.
But he was determined for sure. You could tell he left it all out on the basketball court. It was as if he was always running. He led the Mustangs to their first league title 11 years ago.
Former coach Bob Serven would refer to Krikorian as a coach on the floor back during Danny's senior year. It appears Serven was also lending a prediction of sorts.
Danny went on to play for Chapman University. Most people close to him knew he would make a return to Costa Mesa. He says he bleeds green and loves the school.
Last year he continued to show his love as an assistant coach. He was a big part of Costa Mesa breaking 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.
"I am extremely excited," Krikorian said of being hired. "It's a complete honor. I'm just really excited to get to work and continue on the work I've been putting in this great program."
Krikorian said he has received several messages of congratulations and well wishes from people in the community. That also excites him, to know that he has support. It gives him more confidence. Danny coaching at Costa Mesa is just a great fit.
When I found out Bryan Rice stepped down as head coach of the Mustangs last month, I sent Danny a text message asking him if he was interested in the opening. At this point, he was on his way to Wyoming after finishing up in Arizona as part of a seven-act, 10-day tour for his musical group: the Dan Krikorian Band.
We had just recently spoke about his new job as an assistant at Chapman. He said he was happy, but a head coach basketball opening at his alma mater was too good to pass up.
A month later, he's the man at the start of the bench.
"It's been a real wild ride the past two weeks," he said. "To be on tour while all this was going on, it's been a lot of fun. It was a crazy time. And now I can't wait to start."