The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Coach Profile: Joseph Berticevich

Talented basketball coach comes to De Anza for a new challenge
Photo courtesy of Lion Park
Coach Berticevich fires up the basketball team before practice on May 9.

It’s not easy to leave when you’re at the top of your game. But for De Anza’s incoming men’s basketball coach, Joseph Berticevich, it seemed like an easy decision to make.

Coming from a 30-year tenure as a varsity men’s basketball coach at Pioneer High School in Saratoga, Berticevich took the school to the California Interscholastic Federation Central Coast Section qualifiers 25 out of 27 years, advancing to the semi-finals five of those years.

Berticevich said he has a lot of history with the De Anza community. Growing up in Cupertino, he attended Prospect High School in San Jose, where he played basketball, and during the summer he would attend sports camps held by De Anza’s previous basketball coach, Frank Nunez.

While playing basketball for West Valley College, Berticevich would be pitted against Coach Nunez’s squad until his graduation. They would later become colleagues when Berticevich began his coaching career in 1993 as a junior varsity basketball coach for Los Gatos High School. Later in 1997, he took up the mantle of varsity coach for Pioneer.

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After making the switch from coaching at the high school level, Berticevich said he immediately noticed that community college athletes are quicker, faster and more physically and mentally mature.

“It’s just going to be fun,” Berticevich said.

Although Berticevich stepped down from the position as Pioneer’s varsity basketball coach, he retains his teaching duties at the school. He plans to achieve his lifelong aspiration of coaching at De Anza.

“It had to be a special situation,” Berticevich said. “And De Anza fits that.”

Berticevich plans to recruit and train with his new team until their season starts again in September, with their first game on Nov. 7.

“I’ve only been on this job for about a month so we’re still recruiting hard,” Berticevich said. “We’re getting to bring in a lot of people and a lot of potential Mountain Lions in the summer and then competition.”

Some members of Pioneer’s varsity team decided to follow their lauded coach to De Anza to play under his leadership a little longer. Current students throughout De Anza have also been talking about his recent arrival.

Coach Berticevich fires up the basketball team before practice on May 9. (Photo courtesy of Lion Park)

Cesar Ordaz, 20, a business and administration major and member of the De Anza soccer team, was happy that there was such an experienced addition to the athletics department.

“It’s good that he decided to transfer here, sounds like he’s very good,” Ordaz said.

“It sounds like he’s experienced; it’s good that he came here,” said Anan Belsare, 20, a computer science major.

Sean Crowley, 20, a business major and member of the De Anza basketball team, having previously played with Coach Berticevich at Pioneer, transferred from Cañada College upon hearing that Berticevich would be the head coach at De Anza.

“He’s doing everything he can to build up the team right now,” Crowley said. “He has a desire to win.”

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Danielius Maslovskis
Danielius Maslovskis, Staff Reporter
I’m taking in this class to polish up on my social and writing skills. I hope to learn about the community this quarter!

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