Although it seems Los Altos High changes girls basketball coaches nearly as often as Taylor Swift switches boyfriends, Jaclyn Brode intends to stick around awhile.
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Brode, the Eagles’ sixth coach in nine years and eighth since 2001.
Hired May 14, Brode is rooted in the area – she grew up in Mountain View and still lives there – and has connections to both high schools in the district. Brode is a 2002 graduate of Mountain View High, where she played basketball and softball, and this year coached both sports at Los Altos. Brode ran the Eagles’ junior-varsity girls basketball team and was an assistant coach for JV softball.
Brode, working toward a degree in physical education at San Francisco State, said she started coaching 10 years ago. Brode has coached basketball at the YMCA and at Egan Junior High, a feeder school for Los Altos High.
Having coached a few of the girls as Egan eighth-graders prior to guiding the Eagles’ JV team last season, Brode is familiar with the players she’s inheriting.
“I love those kids – they’re a great group,” she said. “They work really hard and they’re smart.”
Brode added that she’s “excited to get started.” That eagerness and energy helped her land the job, according to athletic director Kim Cave.
“Jaclyn brings a great deal of enthusiasm and inspiration to the program,” she said. “She has a great passion for the game.”
But that’s not all Brode brings to the bench, according to Cave.
“Her knowledge, focus and ability to communicate with players is what we are looking for,” the athletic director said.
When she’s not taking classes or coaching, Brode spends much of her time working one-on-one with elementary students in east San Jose who are behind in school.
“I’m all about education and kids,” she said. “I put character above all else, and I’m going to be honest with the girls (on the team).”
Brode takes over a squad that went 19-7 last season under Kevin Lee, who was not asked back after two years at the helm. The Eagles shared the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division championship with Mountain View this year and reached the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section playoffs.
“They had a lot of success, but there’s a lot of room to grow,” Brode said. “They have a lot of potential.”