A former Nevada state champion as a player has taken on the challenge of returning a perennial power to those heights.
Brian Lang, a guard on Cimarron-Memorial’s 1999 state championship team, has taken the reins of the basketball program at Clark High School. He replaces Cory Duke.
Lang has been involved in coaching basketball in Southern Nevada for more than a decade. He has overseen the development of some of the valley’s top players as an AAU coach and returned to the high school ranks in 2016 as coach of The Meadows, a position he held for three seasons.
In taking the position at Clark, Lang follows the career path of his coach at Cimarron-Memorial, Hank Girardi.
“I just talked to him the other day, and his influence is still going on in my life,” Lang said. “Those values, those fundamentals, being part of a family-oriented program growing up was everything to us. His first job was at Clark, so it feels like everything is coming full circle.”
Clark has been one of the state’s top programs in recent years, having won three straight Class 3A state championships from 2014 to 2016. The Chargers moved up to 4A after the last of those titles and reached the state final in 2017 and 2019 before losing to Bishop Gorman, which has won the past nine crowns.
The Chargers had a rough 2019-20 season, finishing 6-18 and 2-10 in the Southwest League. They will play in the new Class 5A beginning next season.
Lang said he makes only two promises: the Chargers will be fun to watch and they will play hard. As far as the style of play, that will be determined by personnel.
“You’ve got to play to your strengths,” Lang said. “If we can’t play up and down with you, we’re not going to. Our game plan will change game to game, but our fundamentals will not. It’s all about the culture and work ethic, everybody believing in becoming gym rats and studying the game.”
Faith Lutheran, Sierra Vista get new coaches
Ernie Rama has been promoted to head the varsity program at Faith Lutheran after head coach Bret Walter resigned. Rama, who coached club basketball with Vegas Elite for four years before joining Faith Lutheran, takes over a program that reached the Class 4A state tournament for the first time last season.
Rama served under Walter as freshman coach since joining the Faith Lutheran staff in 2012,
Sierra Vista looked in its own league for its next coach, hiring Joe Bedowitz from Desert Oasis. Bedowitz was 60-52 in four seasons with the Diamondbacks. He takes over a Mountain Lions team that was 10-18 overall and 0-12 in Southwest League play last season.