It’s been a while since Jim Masterson was a head coach.
But now he’s back in charge of his own team.
St. Mary’s named Jim Masterson the boys’ basketball coach on Monday, athletic director Dennis Vigil told The Gazette via email.
For the last three seasons, Masterson was an assistant coach at Rampart under J’on St. Clair. The two seasons before that he was with St. Clair at Cheyenne Mountain.
Before that he was head coach at Harrison in 2011-12 and 2010-11, leading Xavier Ford and Co. to a 20-5 season and a trip to the round of 16 in the 4A state playoffs. He also spent nine years in charge at Liberty.
“I was happy to be at Rampart,” Masterson said, calling St. Clair the best coach in Colorado Springs. “It was really a good opportunity, they had really good teams, so that was really fun. But when you’ve been a head coach there’s just a way you like to do things. I really wanted to be a head coach again. This was the first opportunity I’ve gotten, so I jumped on it.”
Masterson takes over for Pernell Baca, who coached the Pirates for one season with the team going 6-17.
It was the Pirates’ first season finishing under .500 since 2010-11 when they were 5-14.
After that season, Mark Beranek took over, leading the Pirates to a 72-42 record over five seasons.
Baca was an assistant under Beranek and served as the junior varsity coach before being tabbed to take over after Beranek resigned in March 2016.
“We are excited for Pirate basketball moving forward with Jim at the helm,” Vigil wrote.
Masterson, who started his career coaching at a Catholic schools in California, also liked the aspect of returning to his Catholic roots.
“The chance to start my career at a Catholic school and end at a Catholic school was something that really appealed to me,” he said.
As he puts together a coaching staff in preparation of getting things rolling, Masterson is already aware of how difficult the 3A Tri-Peaks League can be.
“That league is really, really good,” he said. “CSCS won back-to-back state championships. Manitou had three losses this year, two of them to CSCS. It’s one of the premier leagues. Hopefully at St. Mary’s we’ll be able to climb back in that upper tier.”