Battle Mountain names Padilla new basketball coach |

Battle Mountain names Padilla new basketball coach

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
SPT Tom Padilla KA 05-12-09

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” This much is certain: The Battle Mountain boys basketball team will be fun to watch.

Tom Padilla was named the Huskies’ new coach on Tuesday and he brings an up-tempo style with him.

“It feels great,” Padilla said. “I never thought I’d be going back to do anything at Battle Mountain. It’s the greatest feeling to go back to my high school to coach. It was always a goal of mine.”

That’s right. Not only is Padilla the new coach, he’s also a 1975 Battle Mountain graduate. Padilla was a four-year starter for the Huskies and the passion for basketball never left him.

Padilla has been coaching basketball for the last 13 years. His route to the head coaching position has included stops with Eagle Valley and the Huskies. Last season, Padilla coached the eighth-grade team at the Eagle Valley Middle School.

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Now, he’ll take over for Phil Tronsrue at Battle Mountain. Padilla is already off to a good start. After introducing himself to players and parents on Tuesday, the team came together and yelled, “Huskies.”

“He’s high energy,” Battle Mountain athletic director Rich Houghton said. “It seems like he is going to good for the kids. He knows it’s about the kids. He’s committed.”

The system Padilla brings to Eagle-Vail should be fun to play in. The up-tempo style will feature fast breaks on one end of the floor and a full-court press on the other. If an opponent shuts down the fast break, Battle Mountain will run a motion offense with an emphasis on screens.

Padilla said it’s important that his teams be in shape and ready to work.

“We have a lot of kids coming back,” Padilla said. “We’ll have a deep bench. If I’ve got a good 8-9 guys on the bench, that’s good. A lot guys will play.”

The aggressive style is one of things that drew Houghton to Padilla.

“He has a lot to offer our kids,” Houghton said.

With an emphasis on pushing the pace, Padilla said point guard play is one of the biggest keys to success.

“The point guard is going to be huge for us,” Padilla said. “I’m going to try and have two or three point guards. The point guard is going to be huge knowing when to push it and when not to push it. He’ll be that second coach on the floor.”

The rest of the lineup will be responsible for scoring. Padilla said he likes his teams to shoot the ball at will, something the players have to like to hear.

Battle Mountain plans on wasting little time implementing Padilla’s system. The Huskies will work out throughout the summer and maybe play in a couple of tournaments.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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