May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Chapman Coach Mike Bokosky had a big impact on those who played and worked with him

Tustin Coach Ringo Bossenmeyer (left) and Cypress Coach Derek Mitchell were among those who were impacted by playing or working with Chapman Coach Mike Bokosky. (Photo courtesy Cypress basketball).

Panthers head coach recently celebrated 500th career victory.

Cypress High School boys basketball Coach Derek Mitchell says Chapman University Coach Mike Bokosky, who recently achieved his 500th career victory, had a big impact on him and many other coaches.

“Coach Bokosky recruited me my senior year of high school at Cypress to play at Chapman,” Mitchell said. “It was the perfect fit. He played an uptempo style and focused on the details of the game that made his players better. I still use a lot of the same drills and/or terminology he used when I was playing.

“I think it’s amazing to see the influence he has had and how many of us are living the dream of coaching basketball.  It shows you what kind of leader he was and how he was able to recruit players who have a love for the game.”

Mitchell said he knows of more than 20 former players or coaches who have gone on to coach, including Tustin Coach Ringo Bossenmeyer.

Both Mitchell and Bossenmeyer will take their teams into the opening round of the CIF playoffs Frioday.

The list Mitchell provided includes:

Aaron Aguilera, Bloomington and Carter High; Umahl Anderson, El Camino High; Martin Banda, Western; Miguel Bennet, one of the lead coaches at Open Gym Premier; Brady Bergeson, head coach at Regis University; Ringo Bossenmeyer (was an assistant when Mitchell was at Chapman, Tustin; Scott Brooks (was Bokosky’s coach at UCI),  NBA coach; Todd Canavan, Cypress High; Tim Crow, Cypress; Norman Coulter, Ramona High and Western Christian High; Jim Falleta, Troy High; Tyler Green, Poway High in San Diego; and Marcus Harvey, La Habra and Westminster.

Garret James, Orangewood Academy; Richard Johnson, Ontario High; Dan Krikorian, Chapman assistant; Derek Mitchell Cypress; Manny Munoz (head football) at McFarland; Reed Nakakihara, Foothill; David Neal,  El Dorado; Kevin Sweet, El Dorado; Bob Thornton (coached him at UCI, and was an assistant at Chapman) now works in the NBA; Greg Vechionni, Sonora; Tim Werdel, Orange and Santa Ana Valley; and Brian Wood (player and assistant coach at CU), Villa Park

Two of those former players shared their thoughts on Coach Bokosky:

 Stefan Mumaw, played for Bokosky at Chapman from 1993 to 1995:

“I’ve actually known Bo since my high school days. He was an assistant at UC Irvine back in the late 80’s when I was playing for University High School just up the street. We would come in to be counselors at the summer camp he ran there at UCI, and I was playing pick up in the practice gym every other day during the summers. I saw him alot back then. He recruited me to Chapman out of Cuesta JC in SLO, it felt very much like going home.

“I was always taken by Bo’s passion for the game, how he would take me aside and work on the little things that no one else would work on: post position nuances, finding the rim visually during the shot, pass fakes. He never tried to turn me into something I wasn’t, never tried to fit me into a mold. He looked at my game the way it was and built on it. I always appreciated that. I was an All-American my senior year, and I owe a lot of that to him.  I can hear him now, ‘Be solid, Mumaw.'”

Umahl Anderson, started playing for Bokosky in 1992-93:

“My first year with Coach Bo was the ’92-’93 season. What a talented team we had with a mix of returners and Division 1 and community college transfers as well. I remember appreciating his attention to detail and understanding how important it was for him to have every single minute of practice accounted for. He taught us all the meaning of accountability and what it meant to make the most of the opportunity in front of you.

“The beauty of Coach Bo is his consistency in both coaching and life. Both my son and daughter spent many summers at Chapman Panther Basketball camps. My wife Katie and I would love to hear the kids come home and talk about the latest ‘Bokoskyisms’ from that day. It was the same stuff he would tell us as college players 20 plus years prior. One of my favorites is ‘We must have less slippage every day.’ In short, that meant we must be mentally focused in every thing we do. When we slip up or have ‘slippage’ we lose consistency. I use the things I’ve learned from Coach Bo to this day as I coach high school girls basketball. Congratulations Coach Bo on an amazing milestone. Thank you for the many life lessons I learned from you.”

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com