By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
NORTH PORT — North Port High School has found its new boys basketball coach.
Ryan Power was named the Bobcats’ head coach Thursday morning, athletic director Cary Willgren announced in a press release.
“Coach Power exemplifies a true passion for the game of basketball and for coaching student-athletes,” Willgren said. “He has a commitment of developing young men into successful adults by means of the classroom and through athletics.”
Power has previous coaching experience as an assistant with Martin County High School and South Fork, over on the east coast of the state. He was with Martin County during the 2014-15 season when the Bobcats defeated his Tigers 61-58 in the Class 7A regional finals.
“It hit me when I walked into the locker room,” Power said. “I vividly remember the game, and I remember sitting there with the County kids in tears after the game.”
He’ll be replacing former head coach Travis Slanger, who recently left the program to take a similar position in his home state of Michigan.
Power was originally hired to coach the junior varsity team, but put his name in the pool after Slanger announced his departure. Power has been working with the varsity team for the last month.
“We didn’t graduate very many kids,” Power said. “We have a lot of returning varsity players, and they know the system. It seems like my system is pretty similar to coach Slanger’s. It’s just implementing a couple of things here and there.”