DeLaPorte, a native of Ceres, made his decision May 15 to take the reins of his former school’s league rival.
“I told the Ceres players that our relationships will not change and that I will always be there for them if they need my help,” DeLaPorte said. “But for two nights next January, we will have to compete against each other.”
In his five seasons leading the Ceres Bulldogs program, DeLaPorte posted a 61-72 overall record, and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs in two of the past three seasons. Last season, DeLaPorte was 7-5 in league play, finishing third in the WAC behind runner-up Patterson.
DeLaPorte takes over at Patterson for Agustin Arreola, who after guiding the Tigers to the SJS Division III playoffs in both of his seasons at the helm of the varsity team, left to focus his attention on his new role as assistant principal of Creekside Middle School.
Arreola vacated his post at Patterson with a 41-15 overall record.
“This team has a lot of potential but they understand that only through hard work, focus and sacrifice will they achieve their goals,” Arreola said. “I have no doubt that Coach DeLaPorte will put them in position for them to achieve those goals.”
DeLaPorte, 32, has been part of the Bulldogs boys basketball coaching staff since 2000.
The 1999 Ceres High graduate said it was a difficult decision to leave his players and pursue the vacant position at Patterson, but the opportunity was too good to pass up.
“It will be the first time in 39 years that a DeLaPorte has not coached a sport at Ceres High, but that never affected my decision in wanting to come to Patterson High,” said DeLaPorte, whose father, Phil, was a longtime coach and athletic director at Ceres.
He will teach physical education and health at Patterson High at the start of the next school year.
Patterson High athletic director Dave Klein said DeLaPorte’s prep coaching experience was a strong factor in the school’s decision.
“Brian has the passion for the job, the experience for the job, and he is going to be on campus full time,” Klein said. “He mapped out what he expected of the team, and he also made it very clear what they would get out of him. He also made it very clear that teamwork and discipline would be stressed throughout.”
While DeLaPorte is an experienced hardwood mind, he’s not kidding himself. He knows that he’s stepping in for a local coaching favorite and that the community has expectations for its boys to continue winning.
“The opportunity to come in and pick up where the team left off from last year is something I am really looking forward to,” DeLaPorte said.
In the coming days, DeLaPorte will meet individually with athletes. He also said the team’s style of play will see some changes on offense and defense.
“I am trying to establish relationships with all the players in the program,” DeLaPorte said. “My goal is to watch all the league games from last year and figure out what the team did well on and try to build on that.”
With several returning athletes and increased depth expected on next season’s Patterson squad, DeLaPorte thinks the Tigers can be at the top level of the WAC for several years.
He hopes to see Patterson make an imprint both locally and on the Sac-Joaquin Section.
“I am intense, demanding and hard working,” DeLaPorte said. “I believe the only way to be successful is through hard work and putting in the necessary time to be successful.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.