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Ryan Masterson named Parker boys basketball coach

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THOMAS J. MILLER
April 16, 2008
— Ryan Masterson is returning to his roots.

The 39-year-old Janesville native is the new boys basketball coach at Janesville Parker High.


“I grew up going to Parker games,” the new Viking coach said this morning. “I’ve always had a picture in my mind of what it would be like to be the Parker coach.”


Masterson’s uncle, John Brikowski, played on the 1971 Parker boys state championship basketball team, and his father, Rich, taught at Parker.


So Masterson has Parker roots, although most of his basketball experience has been at Janesville Craig.


The Masterson family moved to the east side, and Ryan played his high school basketball at Craig. He graduated in 1987.


After he graduated from the University of Wisconsin, he returned to teach social studies and AP American history at Craig.


He also has been a boys basketball assistant for the past seven years. He always thought about coaching, starting when he volunteered at the YMCA while he was in high school.


Masterson didn’t hesitate to apply when Parker coach Jim LeMire resigned last month after going 9-33 in two seasons. He got the official word that he got the job at 3 p.m. Tuesday.


Parker Athletic Director Steve Schroeder said eight people applied and five were interviewed.


“After Ryan’s interview, we were very impressed with his energy and realistic expectations about the program and how fast the program can progress,” Schroeder said. “He’s very excited about turning our program around.”


That process will take work.


“I’m not in this for the short term,” Masterson said. “I realize that for next year’s senior class, I will be their third head coach. Stability will be the key.”


Masterson knows what he has to do to turn around the program, which is 15-112 over the past six seasons.


“You have to get the best athletes out,” he said. “I believe Parker athletics is one of the prime programs in the state. You look at football, girls basketball, track, wrestling and hockey, they have great athletes.


“I’ve got to believe there are athletes over there,” he said. “You also have to develop the youth program. This is a long-term project. It’s not going to happen overnight.”


One of Masterson’s first goals will be to close the gap between the Craig and Parker programs. He especially will enjoy going up against Bob Suter, whom he both played and coached under.


“It will definitely be an honor to do that,” Masterson said. “And hopefully, it goes on for a while.”



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