One of the top boys basketball programs in the Northern Lights Conference over the last decade will be led by a new coach next season.
The Frontiersman reported on Tuesday that Wasilla’s Ryan Engebretsen has stepped down after 13 years as head coach of the Warriors.
“I felt it was the right time,” Engebretsen told The Frontiersman. “There is never going to be a good time, but I felt it was the right time.”
Engebretsen won six NLC titles and the 2018 state title. His teams advanced to the 4A state championship game three times. The Frontiersman said he won over 200 games during his tenure.
“All of that was based on several guys coming together believing in themselves, having confidence to look beyond themselves and play for the name on the front of their jersey,” he told The Frontiersman.
Engebretsen’s resignation came as a surprise to Longtime Kodiak coach David Anderson, who said he enjoyed battling Wasilla’s coach over the years.
“He had some great teams. We weren’t as good as they were, but we gave them some pretty good games,” Anderson said. “We prepare well for everybody that we play, and even his best teams we gave them fits.”
Kodiak split with Wasilla the past two seasons.
Engebretsen also looked forward to facing Anderson’s teams.
“Dave does a great job with his kids and getting them to play the style they want to play — the style that he thinks is going to best win games, and he has done a good job of that the last handful of years,” Engebretsen told the Daily Mirror in January.
With Engebretsen leaving Wasilla, Anderson said it could shake up the landscape of the NLC.
“You get different coaches coming in, it takes them about two to three years to figure out what everybody else is doing,” he said. “It will be interesting.”