It could have been worse |

It could have been worse

For anyone out there in need of some slightly used Cardinal and Gray activewear, Duwaine Ganskie’s your man.

Ganskie, who has skippered the Bear River girls basketball program to eight Sac-Joaquin Section titles since he took over the former Golden Empire League punching bag in 1988, won’t have much need for said school-specific clothes anymore.

The 2004 California High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year will take the seat on the Nevada Union bench next season vacated by long-time Miner boss Craig Strohm early this year.

Rumors had Ganskie making the move north to Grass Valley proper almost as soon as Strohm – who coached the Miners to five section titles in his two decades in The House of Pain – announced his intention to hang up his whistle after 19 years in the blue and gold.

And that was the way it stayed until The Union broke the story Monday.

It took a few days for NU to get all of its various ducks in line, but early Thursday afternoon athletic director Steve Pilcher made it official:

Ganskie’s a Miner.

Those loyal Bruin fans who still have a hard time wrapping their minds around that concept can take solace in the fact the Bear River girls program’s elevation to among one of Northern California’s most successful programs is thanks in part to Ganskie.

Need proof?

The next time you’re in the Bear River’s neighborhood, scan the walls of Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium.

There you’ll find 11 league title banners, including three-straight Pioneer Valley League crowns, the aforementioned eight section championships as well as three CIF NorCal State Championships.

‘Nuff said.

So, whether Ganskie’s reasons for leaving were based on taking a shot at a whole batch of new challenges in Division I, or that he wanted to see some new scenery on his way to work, Bruin fans will have to suck it up and find a way to move on.

While it’s not going to be easy, both for fans and the players, the situation could have been much worse:

He could have gone to Colfax.


Keith Jiron is a sports reporter for The Union. He may be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4244.

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