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Hernandez steps down as Burbank basketball coach

Boys' basketball: Coach leaves Bulldogs program with winning record after nine seasons leading boys' team.

August 01, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

Jose Hernandez said the Burbank High boys' basketball program "was my heart and soul or the past nine years."

However, without a guaranteed teaching position in the district, the coach said he had to do what was right for his family, and that meant leaving Burbank for a position elsewhere

Hernandez, who coached the Bulldogs for nine seasons, said he stepped down last week to take a position at Corona High, where he will teach and be the school's girls' varsity basketball coach.

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"It was a tough decision, and it was wasn't really something I expected to do," Hernandez said. "But I had to do what was best for my family. Burbank wasn't going to give me that opportunity, so it was a move I had to make for my family."

Burbank Principal Hani Youssef said although the school is sad to see Hernandez go, he understands what facilitated the move.

"We didn't have a teaching position for him in the district. …He applied at some other districts and the [Corona-Norco Unified School District] picked him up," Burbank Principal Hani Youssef said. "It's a great move for him."

Hernandez was hired in June 2003 and replaced David Goosen, who was fired in January of that year for alleged CIF Southern Section and district rules violations.

The coach inherited a team that went 0-23 during the 2002-03 season and didn't win a game in the Foothill League (0-10). Over the course of the next seven seasons, the Bulldogs improved on their league victories every year, jumping from the Foothill League to the Pacific League in 2006.

Hernandez finished his tenure at Burbank with a 120-114 record and a 52-60 league tally. In addition, his teams qualified for the postseason seven times in nine seasons and the Bulldogs had two second-place league finishes (2008-09, 2009-10) and five winning seasons.

Under Hernandez, Burbank's most successful season came during the 2009-10 campaign. After finishing second in the Pacific League, the Bulldogs (23-9, 10-4 in league) marched to the CIF Southern Section II-AA semifinals, where the No. 11-seeded squad fell to Compton, 71-48.

It was the first time Burbank advanced to the CIF semifinals in 43 years. It was also Hernandez' only 20-win season.

Last season, the Bulldogs went 12-16 and 8-6 to tie for third in the Pacific League. Burbank fell in the opening round of the Division I-A playoffs to Chino Hills, 57-45.

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