Sports

Girls basketball: Hulet tapped to lead South Kitsap

Veteran assistant Mike Hulet was hired to replace Mark Lutzenhiser as South Kitsap High School’s girls basketball coach.  - Courtesy photo
Veteran assistant Mike Hulet was hired to replace Mark Lutzenhiser as South Kitsap High School’s girls basketball coach.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The family connection between the boys and girls basketball programs will not end next season.

South Kitsap athletic director Ed Santos announced this week that he hired Mike Hulet to succeed Mark Lutzenhiser as the school’s girls basketball coach.

Hulet, 57, is the brother-in-law of the school’s longtime boys basketball coach, John Callaghan.

Similar to Callaghan — and several coaches at the school — Hulet, a 1971 South graduate, is from the area. Santos said he was impressed that Hulet, who teaches construction at the school, also has a number of community-service projects in mind for the team.

“He’s in it for the game of basketball, but also to help the girls become better people,” he said.

Hulet joined Lutzenhiser’s staff as an assistant in 2009 after Tammy Helwig left to become the women’s basketball coach at Olympic College. It was his third stint with the program, which began as an assistant in the 1990s under Gary Wilson. He also served in the same capacity for Mike Allen about a decade ago, but said he left because of his desire to spend more time with his children. Hulet said the youngest of his four children now is in college.

“He’s at a stage in his life where the kids are out of the house and he’s ready to go all in,” Santos said. “We’re really excited about his energy and passion for the game.”

Santos said long-term committment was a significant factor in the selection process after Lutzenhiser resigned April 11 after guiding the Wolves to a 52-27 record and two Class 4A state-playoff appearances in three seasons.

In addition to experience at South, Hulet has coached boys and girls basketball teams at the Amateur Athletic Union and Basketball Congress International levels. He said he coached teams for each of his children, but his interest in the game extends beyond that.

“It’s always been kind of a passion of mine,” Hulet said.

Hulet, who was offered the position on May 4, said he now is busy assembling a coaching staff and putting together a schedule for the Wolves’ summer team.

On the hardwood, Hulet describes himself as “kind of old-school.” He employs man-to-man defense and full-court pressure. Offensively, he likes to play up-tempo.

That style requires athleticism and depth — two attributes he feels South will feature during the upcoming season.

The Wolves graduate point guard Kelsey Callaghan, who signed with Montana Western, but return 4A Narrows first-team, all-league selections in guard Jackie Steiger and forward Taylor Sunkel.

“I’m really excited to have all those kids coming back,” Hulet said. “It will be a nice nucleus.”

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