Maria Carrillo boys basketball coach Deakins steps down

By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

New coaches will be blowing whistles for the Maria Carrillo varsity basketball teams.

After nine years leading the Puma boys, Jerry Deakins stepped down to dedicate more time to teaching and other professional opportunities. Junior varsity coach Will Parker moves up to lead the varsity squad.

Earlier this month, girls coach Matt Vogensen decided not to return for a second season after taking over when longtime coach Steve Azevedo resigned. Santa Rosa schools officials have yet to fill the vacancy.

The moves follow very successful seasons with both teams reaching the second round of the North Coast Section playoffs.

Both Vogensen and Deakins said they could no longer devote the time necessary nearly year round to coach the varsity basketball teams.

“I am at a place where I am wanting to explore other professional opportunities, dedicate more energy to my Academic responsibilities, and spend more time with my wife,” Deakins said. “I also believe that the program needs an infusion of new energy and direction to continue its growth and success.”

A history and psychology teacher at Maria Carrillo, Deakins will continue as one of the school’s two athletic directors, as well as coach girls golf.

Deakins and his staff helped make Maria Carrillo a perennial section playoff team.

New coach Parker has been a high school freshman and junior varsity basketball coach for seven years, the last three directing the Maria Carrillo junior varsity. The move means Parker will no longer help lead the Maria Carrillo girls golf team.

Parker looks forward to leading the team in an even more competitive North Bay League with the addition of Casa Grande and Windsor.

“Now it’s going to be a whole new environment. The NBL is getting stronger so it’s going to be interesting,” said Parker, a Santa Rosa chiropractor.

The girls varsity position opened when Vogensen decided to spend more time with family. A vineyard manager, Vogensen has three school-age children.

“To be able to compete year after year in the Empire, you’ve got to be developing talent all year round,” Vogensen said. “There’s no way I can dedicate the time.”

The girls varsity assistant coach for five seasons, Vogensen replaced Azevedo this season after the longtime coach resigned after a group of parents accused him of verbally abusing players. Azevedo had his supporters, who contended the complaining parents wanted their children to play more.

“It was a difficult year,” Vogensen said. “But the basketball part of it was awesome.”

You can reach Staff Writer Michael Coit at 521-5470 or mike.coit@pressdemocrat.com.