VPS takes coaching to the 'House
By Jesse Phelps
Next year's Villanova Prep basketball
teams should sport a new flavor.
Tom Roanhaus, the new athletic director, is an area man who just
moved back from Colorado, and he's wasting no time in hiring
for the vacant positions for boys' and girls' basketball.
The boys' position, said Roanhaus, could be finalized later this
week. He's been meeting with candidates and said he's very close
to hiring someone "very exciting."
"We're about 90 percent there," said Roanhaus. "We
have a meeting in the morning. It's going be a good story."
In the meantime, he's already hired for the girls' team and it's
a name that should be familiar to county basketball fans. Nicole
Greathouse led Ventura's Buena High to three CIF titles and went
on to play for the University of California at Santa Barbara,
where she made four trips to the NCAA tournament.
"That's a top-20 program," said Roanhaus. "I met
with her on Wednesday. The headmaster had already done a preliminary
interview. He said she was very impressive and she'd been a good
athlete in high school and college. It was one of those situations
where you just sit and listen and watch her demeanor."
Roanhaus said Greathouse was attracted to Villanova because she
sees it as competitive environment, an "excellence in everything
Greathouse, who spent last season coaching basketball and softball
for Laguna Blanca School in Santa Barbara, agreed. She's impressed
with both the facilities and with her girls. She says she's had
one team meeting "but there were so many girls I don't know
them all by name yet. When we played them (last year) I only
got to see them once. But they're just very talented, especially
for a small school; a lot of athletic ability. The school's amazing."
Greathouse, a postplayer in high school and college who tried
out for the WNBA after graduation, never planned to coach. "I
didn't think I had the patience for it," she said. But the
Laguna Blanca job sparked something and now she's taking the
next step. "It was something that I totally enjoyed so I
just decided to keep doing it," she said. "I moved
back to Ventura about a month ago. It's too far a commute to
Laguna. I was talking to (softball coach) John Jenks and he told
me about the opening at Villanova."
Villanova returns a fairly intact squad from last year's CIF-playoff
team, including leading scorer Stephanie DeSantis and one of
the county's leading rebounders in Katie Parziale.
Greathouse said not only does she look forward to working with
the girls on their game, but she wants to help them move on to
the next level, if at all possible. "I'm going to try very
hard, I know (Parziale) is a senior - I'll try to use all my
connections to get any of my girls to go on further," said
Meanwhile Roanhaus is ecstatic that, as he gets acclimated to
his new-old surroundings, he's been able to find such great available
talent to fill his coaching slots.
"It was pretty clear in ten minutes" that Greathouse
was a perfect hire, Roanhaus said. "Having been out there
for 19 years, if I'm stepping on campus as athletic director
and this is the first interview, we've hit the bull's- eye. When
you speak with her, she's a very impressive person. I hope we
get bull's-eyes like this all the time."
Meanwhile, he said the boys' position should be filled by another
wonderful applicant by next week. "I don't want to spill
the beans too quick because it's not concrete yet," he said.
"I had a preliminary interview early this week. We want
somebody who can fill a teaching position. That's part of what
keeps a good Catholic school going, getting a regular influx
of excitement. We interviewed two kids. One that looks like he
could help us in football and soccer and this other one for basketball
Roanhaus says that the boys' coach is someone locals know with
serious basketball credentials. "It's somebody that I'm
very excited about. He's a very good young teacher. He's going
to be a role model."
The hiring of Greathouse and meetings with his other prospects
have Roanhaus fired up about the possibilities for his teams
next year. In good Catholic fashion, he gave credit where credit
is due. "I've been very blessed here this week," he
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