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Boys' basketball: Tim Tucker leaves Pasadena for Maranatha

March 12, 2013 | 12:29 pm

Tim Tucker has been associated with Pasadena High for so long that some people will wonder how he could leave the Bulldogs to become coach at Pasadena Maranatha.

"I need a new challenge. This was an opportunity to rejuvenate myself," he said Tuesday.

Tucker made it official, resigning at Pasadena after 19 years as coach to take over at Maranatha.

It has become a trend in high school sports _ high-profiled public school coaches switching to private schools.

He follows Derrick Taylor, who left Woodland Hills Taft two years ago to take over at Bellflower St. John Bosco.

The private schools are offering lots of money and the chance for coaches to put together all-star teams, because private schools don't have an attendance boundary.

Pasadena won 11 consecutive Pacific League titles under Tucker and two section titles, but Pasadena was moved up to 1AA this season, and that meant the Bulldogs had to get past the likes of Loyola, Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly and Etiwanda if they were going to compete for a championship.

It won't be much easier at Maranatha. The team competes in 4AA, home to Gardena Serra, Bishop Montgomery and Crespi.

But Tucker should thrive in a private-school setting. He said it was tough to leave Pasadena, but he's hoping his longtime assistant, Tony Brooks, will replace him.

-- Eric Sondheimer