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Mike Turpin to coach CHS girls basketball team
Mike Turpin, 62, has been hired to coach Ceres Highs varsity girls basketball team. Turpin takes over a program that last participated in the playoffs during the 2012-13 school year. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Turlock's Mike Turpin has been tapped to coach Ceres High School's varsity girls basketball team.

Mike replaces two-year leader Kristen McClure, who led the Bulldogs to a 21-23 overall record (10-14 in the Western Athletic Conference).

Siblings/former Bulldog players Aimee and Megan Gunzenhauser will assist Turpin.

"I went through the interview process and (Ceres High athletic director) Shawna Nunes hired me," he said. "I've been coaching for 40 years. That's what I do. If you don't work hard, you're going to lose."

Nunes previously coached girls basketball at Ceres High for 18 seasons (1993-2011).

Turpin landed the job thanks to his attitude, knowledge of the game and experience according to Nunes.

"It was a tough decision," Nunes said. "There were two really good candidates. Mike was super energetic. He's very excited about the opportunity. I think he's going to be really successful."

Turpin, 62, served as head coach of Denair High's girls basketball program during the 2014-15 school year. The Coyotes went 7-14 overall and placed fifth in the Southern League (3-9).

Mike was an assistant coach for Granada High School's varsity girls basketball team from 2012-14.

He helped coach varsity boys basketball at Bishop O'Dowd (1996-2001) and Turlock High (2001-03) for five and two years, respectively.

He was an assistant coach for the Cal State Stanislaus men's basketball team for three seasons (2004-07).

A 1972 graduate of Hayward High School, Turpin continued his hoops playing career at Biola University in La Mirada. He suited up for the Eagles for two years.

"Basketball is my life," Turpin said. "I've coached at every level. I've rarely lost where I went."

Ceres High has had four different head coaches since Nunes retired following the 2010-11 school year.

Turpin takes over a program that last participated in the playoffs under Vanessa Morris' guidance in 2012-13.

Morris directed Ceres High for two seasons (2011-12). Ceres High amassed a 20-24 overall record (11-13 in league).

The Bulldogs went 5-13 on the year and 5-7 in the WAC during Heather Jones' lone season (2013-14) as head coach.

Under Nunes' leadership, the Bulldogs amassed a 365-142 record, captured one section championship, claimed six league titles, secured 15 playoff berths, won at least 20 games 10 times and surpassed the 30-win mark twice.

Ceres High made history in 2005. It won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II crown at Arco Arena. The Bulldogs also hosted a NorCal playoff game for the first-time ever. Ceres High's overall record was 25-7.

Pierce Butler, Nunes predecessor, led Ceres High to six league titles in 13 years.

The Bulldogs have been playing in leagues in Turlock and Escalon this summer.

Ceres High's starting lineup features Kaylee Holloway, Natalia Cortez, Harmen Bahia, Camryn Silva and Rayohna Sagapolu.

Holloway and Cortez contributed at the varsity level last season.

Bahia and Silva were members of the Bulldogs' junior-varsity squad.

Sagapolu took the year off to focus on softball.

Andrea Duran, Angelina Ursua and Shelby Veuve have chipped in as well.

Duran, Ursua and Veuve competed at the JV level a year ago.

Ceres High defeated Denair and lost to Modesto Christian during Stanislaus State Summer League play on Wednesday at Pitman High School.

The Bulldogs beat Millennium and lost to Argonaut in the Escalon Summer League on June 21 at El Portal Middle School.

Ceres High dropped a pair of games to Atwater and Grace Davis on June 20 at Stanislaus State.

The Bulldogs are moving forward without four-year varsity standout guard Nicole Bates, who earned a softball scholarship to the University of Washington.

Key contributor Jessica Arreola was also lost to graduation.

Bates and Arreola helped Ceres High double its win total from the previous season this past winter. The Bulldogs placed fourth behind Sac-Joaquin Section playoff qualifiers Central Valley (11-1), Livingston (11-1) and Patterson (7-5).

"I'm very excited in what we got," Turpin said. "We're light in experience. But we have talent. The kids will play harder than they ever have. It's 100 percent or nothing. They're excited. I'm excited."