Neiger takes over reigns of South Tahoe girls hoops
June 21, 2011
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – Coaching philosophies at the high school level differ significantly sometimes from the boys onto girls side of the spectrum – and vice versa.
For the new head girls varsity coach at South Tahoe High School, Mike Neiger, the Tom Orlich-spawned philosophies that helped take Neiger’s high school team to the Nevada state title game in 1987 was simple, and can be easily adapted to any age, gender or level.
“Effort,” Neiger said. “It was preached to me when I was in high school so it’s hard not to try and take things I learned and instill it in the girls. It’s not so much the x’s and o’s, but just the effort in practice and during the games that I can try and convey.”
Neiger, a 1988 graduate of South Tahoe High School, was announced as the next head coach for the Lady Vikings program last week after the retirement of Chris Holmes.
Holmes last season led South Tahoe to the NIAA postseason where they exited in the first round.
The playoffs remain a goal for the Lady Vikings under their first season with Neiger at the helm. He also said there is no reason to believe the team can’t take things a step further.
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“We have a really good group of girls coming up so our goals are to keep moving the program forward like coach Holmes did so well,” he said. “He did a great job with the program, getting the girls to the playoffs last year, and I know it’s vague, but we simply want to take that and go even just one more step.”
A 1988 graduate of South Tahoe, Neiger has spent his life in South Lake Tahoe in and around the gymasiums – specifically with a basketball in his hands.
“I’ve worked with some of the younger teams. I have coached at the eighth grade level and last year was the freshman head coach. It’s nice because a lot of the girls coming up know what I expect of them.”
Outside of basketball, Neiger currently works as a physical therapy while continuing to stay close to the game he loves through coaching – if only in the driveway with his three daughters.
“I have one daughter who is a freshman, another in fourth grade and the other in second grade,” Neiger said. “So I am along for the long-term. We really want to try and get as many girls involved at a young age, teaching them the fundamentals and how to have fun with the game.”
And as far as what he wants to do at the varsity level, it’s much of the same but at a more intense speed and learning curve.
“We want to get out and push the ball up the floor and create opportunities with intense defense,” Neiger said. “The main key is the girls work ethic. That is big. We’ve already begin with our summer program.”
Neiger will take advantage of his home tourney come the end of July when the team host the Tahoe Classic. After that it’s getting ready for the regular season which he says will come before everyone knows it.
“I am excited,” he said. “Really looking forward to a great season.”