Ricker, an Irvine resident, was previously coach at Laguna Beach High. He coached the Breakers boys from 2000 through 2003, compiling a 40-37 record. He also coached Laguna Beach’s girls’ teams in 2002 and 2003, reaching the CIF Southern Section Division I semifinals both years before coming to CdM.
He said he would have taken the boys’ job at CdM in 2004 as well, if Mang hadn’t already had it. But Ricker and Mang have worked together over the years to make tennis a year-round sport at CdM. Ricker said he will also continue his summer tennis camps.
“It’s really helped both the programs,” he said. “That’s why we have such good depth, so many kids involved.”
Under Ricker, the CdM girls have gone 82-11 and advanced to at least the Division I semifinals each year. In 2006, they had an undefeated season and captured the Division I title. Last year, CdM advanced to the Division I finals before falling to Dana Hills, 12-6.
Corona del Mar’s boys finished 15-5 this spring, second in the Pacific Coast League, and lost in the Division I second round on games to Thousand Oaks. The team will lose its top player for the last three years in graduate Fabian Matthews, a three-time CIF Southern Section Individuals champion who’s headed for UC Irvine.
Ricker has already been working with the CdM boys over the last week. Also, with the elimination of the association rule, he said he can now plan events like barbecues or a big mixed doubles tournament.
“It gives us a lot more freedom,” Ricker said. “I’m excited about that part of it, to make it more fun for the kids.”
Mang said he also thought Ricker was a good choice to take over the boys’ job.
“He’s very organized,” Mang said. “He’s got a good, young team. It looks like a pretty good future.”
MATT SZABO may be reached at (714) 966-4614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.