LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Introductions were in order at Angelina College Thursday afternoon, as the newest coaches stepped foot on campus to be welcomed. Starting with the new men's head basketball coach Kyle Manary.
He's an East Texas native from Livingston and graduated from Stephen F. Austin. Manary said he's excited to get back to his roots and relive some of the Roadrunner memories he experienced as a child.
Manary was a unique candidate with his experience in player development with the NBA. That experience will be a valuable asset for the orange and blue.
"I worked for some great guys including Donnie Nelson with the Dallas Mavericks. I've been around a lot of great guys like Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin Eastmen the vice president of the Los Angeles Clippers, so I've been able to take a lot from different guys and make my own philosophy," said Manary. "All my experiences combined with coming home, it's just a special opportunity. I'm so excited about it. I'm fired up. I don't know if I would have taken another junior college job in the entire country, but this is home. I'm excited to be here and I'm all about East Texas."
Ready to build from scratch a first year men's and women's soccer program is head coach Freddy Drago.
He's expected to have both programs up and running by this upcoming fall but no worries, he's done this before. He coached men and women's soccer at Cisco College. Cisco is the program Drago is coming from and he had success there winning several conference titles and making a Sweet 16 appearance.
Drago said he's excited to get things rolling, especially with the talent he sees here right in East Texas.
"Tyler Junior College has been a very, very strong team for the last 15-20 years and on the girls I think they started the program about 10 years ago. They've also been very successful as well. If they can do it, why can't we?" said Drago. "I see it and I think we can do it for sure. There's a lot of soccer here just within the local community. My father and I were counting and we saw at least six different high schools that all have soccer just within a 50 mile radius or so. We're excited and I think we can do it for sure."
There will be an open tryout for soccer. That date will be released at a later time.