Lutzenhiser chosen as new basketball coach

South Kitsap High School athletic director Ed Santos has reached outside the area to find the Wolves’ new girls basketball coach.

Santos announced Wednesday that Mark Lutzenhiser will replace Mike Allen, who resigned after eight seasons once the season wrapped up in February.

Lutzenhiser, who didn’t return a message seeking comment by press time, was selected by Santos and a panel that included administrators, teachers and a parent over four other candidates.

Santos said Lutzenhiser’s experience, which consists of eight years of experience leading the girls basketball programs at Bellingham, Wenatchee and Sequim high schools, in addition to a season as an assistant coach for the men’s team at California State University, Chico, set him apart from other applicants. He was the Northwest League coach of the year for girls basketball in 1988-89.

“In the whole process, we felt good about his passion for the game and girls basketball,” Santos said.

The Wolves have struggled in recent years and haven’t posted a winning record since finishing 11-10 in 2004-05. Allen finished his tenure with an 84-96 record and some criticized the direction of the program.

Santos said the committee wanted to have a “clear picture” of each candidate, which is why the search lasted more than two months.

“Girls basketball is a big job and it’s a bit more high-profile than other sports,” Santos said. “We wanted to make sure we did a good job of finding high-profile candidates.”

Lutzenhiser, who taught at Kingston High School this year but didn’t coach, will join South’s science department in the fall as a chemistry teacher.

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