OGDEN — Tanoka Beard played Division I college basketball and professional basketball for the better part of two decades. The 6-foot-9 former power forward is well-versed in the nuances of the game.
Ben Lomond High hopes that experience and knowledge translate to its boys basketball players.
Beard has been hired as the new head coach of the Scots boys basketball team.
Beard prepped at Bonneville High in the late 1980s, played college basketball at Boise State and then had a successful pro career in Europe for 16 seasons.
Seven of those professional seasons ended with him being named the MVP for the league he was in (four-time Lithuanian League MVP, two-time Spanish League MVP, one-time Baltic League MVP).
“I’ve always felt like I’ve had something to offer based on my former career as an athlete. I just want to share some of what I’ve learned internationally and bring those things back home,” Beard said.
Ben Lomond ostensibly returns its top two scorers from this season: Titus Hughes (12.4 points, 7.9 rebounds per game) and Garet Rentmeister (11.8 points per game).
Beard has never been a high school head coach, but he assisted on Layton Christian’s state championship boys basketball team this season. He also assisted for the Eagles from 2012-14 and was an assistant at American Preparatory Academy in Draper.
BLHS has missed the playoffs the last four seasons and Beard has plans to get the Scots playing at a competitive level.
“I just believe that we have to have a direct approach to establishing a work ethic, find out what types of goals they’re setting for themselves, finding out what they want from the experience,” Beard said.
It’s not often a high school can make a big, splashy hire for the coach of a sports team. This time is one of the exceptions.
Saulsberry to stay as BLHS girls coach
Chelsye Saulsberry’s interim tag is gone.
Saulsberry, a former BLHS basketball standout from 2000-04, will stay on as the Scots head coach next season, giving her a chance to work with the program for a full season.
Then-head coach James Reeder resigned in December and Saulsberry came on as the head coach.