Former Carrillo player Darren Nelson leading RVC boys basketball team

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

Wearing a tie during games to look older, Darren Nelson still gets puzzled glances from referees not accustomed to a 22 year old high school varsity basketball coach.

What experience Nelson lacks – one year leading the junior varsity – he makes up for with energy and enthusiasm. Nelson has Rincon Valley Christian’s boys back among the North Coast Section’s top teams.

“He knows basketball. He did a nice job coaching last year,” said Rincon Valley Christian Athletic Director Doug Crouse. “He works well with the kids and they respect him. The kids like him.”

More than a peer in age, Nelson also is a student. He will graduate from Sonoma State in the fall.

After playing on the Maria Carrillo varsity for two years, Nelson played one year at Santa Rosa Junior College. Nelson credited Bear Cubs coach Craig McMillan with teaching him much about the game.

Nelson also has a large staff of basketball minds. Cousin and former Rincon Valley Christian standout Jerod Cake, Leo Gorauskas, who played professionally in Europe, and his dad Ted Nelson help prepare for opponents and call plays during games.

“I love the game. I always considered myself a student of the game,” Nelson said. “I have a blast doing it.”