Written by Preston Sharkey
After six years of coaching Freshman and JV basketball at SPHS, Ryan Lee will be this year’s new varsity boys’ basketball head coach.
Lee will step up to fill the varsity job vacated by coach David Lutzeier, who recently took a new coaching job at Bellarmine Jefferson high school in Burbank. Lee, known as Coach Ryan to his players, hopes to improve upon the team’s 2-8 league record last year and lead South Pas back into Rio Hondo league title contention over the coming years.
As an SPHS alumnus, Lee was excited to be named head coach.
“It was a dream come true” he said. “It means so much to be able to give back to the community that helped raise me. Having an opportunity to guide, mentor, and role model for the next generation of South Pasadena youth is very exciting.”
In addition to just the varsity team, Coach Ryan is focused on youth basketball in the community. While a player at South Pas, Lee began coaching at a younger level. As coach, he wants to create more opportunities for elementary and middle school students to play basketball in South Pas. Through summer clinics or a youth league, Lee also wants to give his players experience as coaches or referees. He is focused on expanding the program as a whole at all three levels and the youth program.
“I really started my coaching journey way back in high school. As a junior I was coaching youth basketball and that’s when I knew I definitely wanted to coach” said Lee. “I set my sights for the South Pas job and now I’m really happy that I’m here.”
Following a series of losing seasons, Lee hopes to change the culture of the program.
Coach Ryan Lee wants to teach his players life skills, and more than just basketball, to prepare them for their futures. He is also looking forward to getting to know his players on and off the court.