John Tucker is turning in the black and orange of Idaho Falls High School for the green and white of Bonneville.
Tucker, who served as the interim boys basketball coach at Idaho Falls this winter, was given school board approval Wednesday to become the new boys basketball coach at Bonneville, replacing Brian Broaddus.
It’s a familiar move for Tucker, who was an assistant coach for the Bees during the 2012-13 season.
“That was really one of the big draws,” Tucker said. “Knowing the kids and knowing there’s some talent there. They went to state this year, so I expect them to be hungry to get back.”
Tucker and the Bees will face the challenge of moving from 4A to 5A next season. But he’ll do it with a summer of basketball under his belt, something he didn’t have when he took over the Tigers in August. In fact, he spent last summer helping Broaddus with the Bees. Broaddus resigned last month after two seasons to take a head coaching job in his home state of Oregon.
“They learn the ins and outs of your offense and defense and what you want to do,” Tucker said. “You can learn what works, what doesn’t work. You’re not starting at zero.”
That will be important for the Bees, who are losing a talented group of seniors — led by University of San Francisco signee Jared Stutzman — from a team that took third place in this year’s 4A state tournament.
Tucker and the Bees will lean heavily on Schareek Davenport, who averaged 15.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a junior. The 6-foot-5 guard is spending his spring playing for the Utah Prospects, a top AAU team based in Utah. Davenport, Kaden Lords and Zach Davis are the only underclassmen who saw playing time for the Bees last season.
“It will take some time for them to gel together, and that’s why this summer is important,” Tucker said.
Bonneville athletic director Dale Gardner said the Bees are happy for Tucker’s return.
“He’s got a lot of experience and he loves basketball,” Gardner said. “He’s a basketball junkie.”