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FARMINGTON — The Navajo Prep boys basketball team will have its fourth head coach in five years when the season begins after the school hired Rick Hoerner to take charge of the program.

“I’m really excited to get someone with Rick’s experience and basketball knowledge to come on board,” Prep athletic director Mike Tillman said. “I think he’ll be a great asset to our program.”

Tillman said Hoerner accepted the position on Tuesday.

Hoerner most recently served as an assistant for the Piedra Vista girls basketball team for the 2013-14 season. Hoerner was also the head coach of the Piedra Vista boys team for nine seasons, leaving the program following the 2008-09 season.

Prior to coaching at PV, Hoerner coached at Heights Middle School and Farmington High. He won four Basin titles in four years as the head coach of the Heights’ ninth-grade team. He later joined Marv Sanders’ coaching staff at Farmington High, serving as an assistant from 1996-2000 before being named the head coach at PV in the fall of 2000.

"I’ve been really fortunate to work with very experienced coaches. The guys you work under kind of end up being your dad,” Hoerner said. “I learned to be more patient, and I want to make things simple for the team.”

Tillman said he hopes Hoerner can provide stability to the Prep basketball program, which has had four coaches in the previous five seasons.

Prep finished last season with 5-21 record and went 2-6 in District 1-3A.

During the last 10 seasons, the Eagles have finished with a winning record just once, going 12-11 during the 2009-10 season.

But it won’t be an easy task for Hoerner, who said he is unfamiliar with the Eagles.

“I’ve never seen one of their players play,” Hoerner said. “Traditionally, they have 5-9 guards and 5-10 post. I’d like to run at a faster pace if we have the guys to get it up and down the court and use the disadvantage from a lack of size as an advantage.”

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.

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