Ryan Lee, who guided South Pasadena High’s boys’ basketball program the past two years, has stepped down as the Tigers’ coach.
Lee, who graduated with the SPHS class of 2007, has accepted a new job at an athletic facility for youth in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles, and can’t put in the necessary time it takes to coach basketball, according to South Pasadena High Athletic Director Greg Luna.
“He’s thought he may be able to balance it, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to do both,” explained Luna. “He underestimated the amount of time it will take, so he stepped down as our basketball coach.”
Luna said he will attempt to initially fill the position internally, and if the right candidate doesn’t surface, an external search for a coach will soon follow. “Our goal is to have a basketball coach by the end of the month,” he said.
South Pasadena struggled on the court last season, finishing in a three-way tie for third in the Rio Hondo League at 4-6 with San Marino and Monrovia. The Tigers were 7-19 overall.
La Cañada won the 2018-19 basketball league title with a 10-0 mark, 27-7 overall.
The Tigers also are looking for a coach to guide South Pasadena High’s cross country program.
Both boys and girls were league champions in 2018 under Joe Soto, “who had other life commitments,” explained Luna of the coach’s departure.
Interviews are scheduled starting this week and Luna hopes the school will have a new coach in place in the next couple of weeks.
Luna learned at the start of the school year that he would not be retained as the athletic director. His last day is June 5. The school is conducting interviews to fill the position.