Rebels usher in new coaching duo

Over the past 13 seasons, Todd Frost saw the Flintridge Prep girls' basketball team become one of the area's top programs.

As an assistant for 10 seasons and head coach for the past three, the Rebels enjoyed a terrific stretch in which they won seven Prep League championships in a row from 2002-08, earned a trip to the CIF Southern Section Division IV-A final in 2007 and had a slew of players achieve All-Area, All-CIF and all-league honors.

However, Frost said it was time to move as he resigned the post after this past season.

"It's just got to be too much and I wanted to do something else," said Frost, who will be replaced by co-coaches Kevin Kiyomura and Jayme Kiyomura-Chan. "I talked about it after the season with [Flintridge Prep Athletic Director] Alex Rivera.

"I loved being an assistant and I was around a lot of great players. It's been a fun ride and I will continue to teach [mathematics]. I've enjoyed every moment and it's been fun watching the progress the players have made as people."

Frost, a 1988 Flintridge Prep graduate, served as an assistant under Kenny Fisher from 1999-2009. He became the interim coach with the tag being removed late in the 2009-10 season. Under Frost, the Rebels were 37-41, 17-19 in league and appeared in the playoffs all three seasons. Flintridge Prep went 7-18 and 2-10 in league for fourth place this season. Flintridge Prep grabbed an at-large berth in the Division V-AA playoffs and suffered a 50-37 first-round road loss against eighth-seeded St. Genevieve.

Countless standout players came through the program during Frost's complete tenure, including Nikki Marquez, Laura Prickett, Laurel Myers, Jordan Toyoma, Courtney Robinson, Megan Musashi, Deanna Watson and Maya Okamoto.

Frost said he will still have a role in the athletic department, though it's not clear what it will be.

Rivera said he understood Frost's outlook.

"He's got some things doing," Rivera said. "As an assistant, he was the perfect role model and he worked well with the management things, like schedules, practices and where to be.

"I know Kenny appreciated those things, too. Todd then stepped in and did the job as a head coach and getting the team to the playoffs. He was always patient with the players and that's what it's all about."

Rivera said he searched for a new candidate that had similar qualities. Kiyomura and Kiyomura-Chan, who are first cousins, proved to be the best candidates available to lead the program in a new direction.

"They both came in at the same time for the interview and I could see they work well together," said Rivera, who hired the tandem in early May. "I asked them who would be the head coach and they said they would work together and they want to create a family environment.

"Kevin's got some head coaching experience and Jayme, with her coaching background, can serve also as the female role model."

Kiyomura served as a junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach at Garden Grove Pacifica from 1990-92 and has coached high school players in the Asian League in which Japanese-American students compete on fellowship all-star teams.

Kiyomura-Chan served as head coach for the Pasadena High girls' basketball team from 1998-2003 and as an assistant with the Pasadena City College women's basketball program from 2003-08.

Kiyomura said he pined to become a basketball coach again.

"I just wanted to get back into it and build a program," Kiyomura said. "I saw a few of Flintridge Prep's games last season and I thought it would be a perfect fit.

"I like the size of the school in that it's smaller and there's a lot of pride with basketball there."

Kiyomura-Chan, a former La Salle girls' basketball player, said she hadn't entertained the thought of returning to the coaching profession since she's got three small children to care for. However, the Flintridge Prep job possibility looked too good to dismiss.

"I couldn't do the job on my own and Kevin and I work well together," Kiyomura-Chan said. "I talked to Kevin about it and we spoke with Alex, telling him it would be a good fit both ways.

"Kevin is like a mentor to me and I'm excited that we will be able to work together. It's going to be about being able to adapt to the players we will have to coach and work within their abilities and see what the players can provide."

charles.rich@latimes.com

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