Jeff Sink planned on making the 2017-18 season his final one as coach of the Brea Olinda girls basketball team.
Sink coached the team during the summer. He enjoyed it and was optimistic that with a talented mix of juniors and seniors an enjoyable and winning season was coming.
Then Sink took a deeper look at his immediate and long-term future. He has a couple of nagging health issues. It’s nothing horrible, but deserving of his attention.
So he informed Brea Olinda administrators that he was done coaching. Brea Olinda announced Thursday that Sink was out.
“I can’t give coaching as much as I want to,” Sink said Thursday. “My mental and physical states are breaking down a little bit. I’m 66 and just getting more tired than I used to.”
This past spring, Sink announced that 2017-18 would be his final season as Brea’s coach. It would have been his 24th season coaching the Ladycats.
He said it was not easy to walk away from the sport that has presented him so many challenges and thrilling moments. Sink, who already had retired from teaching, said it the timing is especially difficult because he was looking forward to coaching this coming season’s Brea team.
“Whoever takes over this job,” Sink said, “will have a team of all juniors and seniors who know each other, shoot really well and play great defense. They are mature and intelligent and dedicated, and I think they’ll do very well.”
Sink coached Brea’s girls over two stints. During his 23 seasons, the Ladycats won 10 CIF-Southern Section championships and five of their state-record 10 CIF State titles.
He was twice named national coach of the year.
Sink’s career record with the Ladycats was 578-96. His 578 wins are the third-most among Orange County coaches who have spent their entire high school coaching careers in O.C. Current Mater Dei coach Kevin Kiernan has 724 wins, and former Woodbridge coach Eric Bangs has 652.
Sink is a wildlife photographer, with Africa being a favorite subject. He recently returned from a trip to Alaska. Sink visited Lake Clark National Park, known for its abundant population of bears.
“At one time,” Sink said, “I was surrounded by 12 different grizzly bears.”
So it looks like the thrill and challenge of coaching has an adequate substitute.
Taking a look around Orange County high school…