Paso Robles High School announced Thursday that former Bearcats boys basketball star Derrick Jasper will take over as the team’s head coach for the upcoming season.
Jasper, 28, rejoins the Bearcats after spending the last five years as an assistant coach at Texas Tech following his playing career at the University of Kentucky and UNLV.
“Coming back to my hometown of Paso Robles has been a surreal experience,” Jasper said in a media release from the school. “The tradition and pride this community holds for their Bearcats is undeniable.”
Part of Jasper’s time at Texas Tech was spent on the staff of head coach Tubby Smith, who recruited Jasper to play at Kentucky in 2006.
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“Paso Robles has a great individual in Derrick Jasper,” Smith, who is now the head coach at Memphis, said in the release. “He has great passion for the game and has been an ideal player and assistant.”
Jasper had a storied prep career at Paso Robles. As a senior in 2005-06, he led the Bearcats to a 24-4 overall record, an undefeated PAC 5 championship and to the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division II-A playoffs. He was named The Tribune’s County Player of the Year in back-to-back years and averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists per game.
The 6-foot-6 point guard went on to start 27 games at Kentucky and play in the NCAA Tournament before transferring to UNLV following major knee surgery. At UNLV, he helped lead the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament twice before graduating.
Now Jasper returns to where it all started to take over a Paso Robles team that finished in last place with a 1-13 record in the PAC 8 last season under former head coach Matt Drake.
“We choose coaches who have the vision in continuing to build and develop state-caliber programs for Paso Robles High School,” Paso Robles Athletic Director Anthony Morales said. “We are thrilled to say, we have found that person in Coach Derrick Jasper."