MANTECA — In the final weeks of the school year, Brett Lewis occasionally filled in as a substitute administrator at Manteca High School. Now that role is permanent.
Lewis has been named a vice principal at Weston Ranch High School, where he’ll oversee athletics along with other administrative responsibilities. The move, announced June 11, also unites his household. Lewis’ wife, Aubrey, is a teacher and activities director on the South Stockton campus.
“I am ready for a new challenge and I feel like the leadership abilities and experience I gained in the last nine years as a head basketball coach has set me up perfectly for my next chapter in my career,” said Lewis, who joins an administrative team that includes principal Troy Fast, another Manteca High disciple, and Roland Davis, the former athletic director.
His promotion signals a significant shift in power in the Front Row region, connecting two of the brightest young minds. Lewis looks forward to whiteboard sessions with Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan, who guided the Cougars to a historic 31-win campaign in 2018. Weston Ranch rolled to a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship and put a serious scare into De La Salle in the first round of the CIF State Open Division Tournament.
The Cougars return six players, including FrontRowPreps.com All-Region Boys Basketball Player of the Year Gavin Wilburn and All-Region selection Donjae Lindsey, the team's leading scorer.
“I believe I offer so much that can benefit Weston Ranch High School and the athletics program," said Lewis, who spent the last nine seasons building an impressive resume as a coach in the Manteca Unified School District.
He began his career at his alma mater, guiding East Union to three Sac-Joaquin Section playoff consecutive appearances and its first winning season (2010) in four years. In 2013, Lewis boldly stepped across enemy lines, becoming the top assistant to former Manteca boys basketball coach Dave Asuncsion.
His storied five-year run at Manteca climaxed with a CIF State Division III title in 2015. That team featured seven future collegiate athletes, including: Oregon’s skywalking forward Kenny Wooten; Seattle center Anand Hundal; UTEP redshirt Tydus Verhoeven; Santa Barbara guard Dwight Young; Northern Arizona quarterback Gino Campiotti; and Harvard lineman Justin Kakala; and recent Stanislaus State signee Jorge Cedano.
In five seasons at Manteca, Lewis won nearly 70 percent of his games and had four 20-win seasons, despite routinely playing one of the stronger schedules.
In 2016, Lewis captured his only Valley Oak League championship. With Verhoeven enjoying an MVP senior season, the Buffaloes went 14-0 in league and defeated eventual Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champion Central Catholic twice.
Lewis was 171-92 in nine seasons and finished .500 or better in eight of those years.
“I enjoyed every minute being a head basketball coach at both of my stops,” Lewis said. “The challenges were so different, but so much fun. I was always very fortunate to have great student-athletes that made coaching so enjoyable.
“I was also very fortunate to have amazing coaches around me. Some of my greatest life experiences and achievements came coaching basketball. I am so grateful for this game for that reason.”
Manteca athletic director Bill Slikker is looking to fill three coaching vacancies. In addition to Lewis' departure, the varsity baseball and girls basketball coaching roles have been vacated. Decorated baseball coach Neil MacDannald has been promoted to vice principal at Manteca, while Ryan Bono stepped down as the girls basketball coach following the season.
Contact James Burns email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jburns1980.