Chad Hammond visited Mike Turpin at Memorial Medical Center on Dec. 13 in Modesto.
Turpin was supposed to coach Ceres High's varsity girls basketball team this winter.
Mike will be out indefinitely while he recovers from brain surgery.
Hammond, Turpin's assistant, will serve as leader of the Bulldogs for the remainder of the season.
"I've been texting with Mike's daughter," Ceres High athletic director Shawna Nunes said. "He has a medical condition right now. It was very serious for a while. He's making a good recovery."
Hammond took over for Turpin before the start of the 2016-17 season.
Mike had been experiencing headaches.
He missed practice the Thursday before Thanksgiving to get checked out.
"They admitted him when he went in and they did surgery the next day," Nunes said. "He's doing better. He's beginning therapy. It could be a fast recovery. It could be a slow recovery. We had no indication what the future would hold. That's why we made the change. The kids need stability."
Hammond is a first-year English teacher at Ceres High.
He previously coached frosh boys basketball at Modesto Christian for two seasons (2006-08) and Beyer for one year (2010-11).
"He planned on being an assistant coach," Nunes said. "Now, he's in charge of it all. It's a major role change. It's going to be a challenge for him."
"Given the circumstances, the transition has been really smooth," Hammond said. "I have a wonderful resource in Shawna. She has knowledge about the program. I'm going to implement what Ceres used in the past. I also have my own bag of tricks and things I know from my playing days in high school and college and coaching stints."
Hammond dropped off a poster Ceres High players made for Turpin at Memorial Hospital.
"The kids haven't forgotten him," Nunes said.