ST. JAMES —The Saint James boys basketball program has its new head coach, and he comes from a school with a national background.
After 11 years as an assistant coach at Montrose Christian, Dan Prete is ready to once again guide his own program.
Saints athletic director Jim Fahey announced that Prete, 43, was his choice from a pool of applicants to succeed Paul Easton, who resigned following two years.
“We are super excited to get a coach of his caliber,” Fahey said. “He comes highly recommended. (Coach Easton) took us to another level and did a great job getting us on the upswing. We’re looking forward to having the best possible program with (Prete).”
Prete is a native of Boston but moved to Montgomery County and graduated from Poolesville High School, then went to Greensboro (N.C.) College.
He lives in Adamstown, Md., and his commute to Saint James will be a shorter trip than it is to Falls Church, Va., where he currently works as a middle school athletic director — one reason he decided to make a change.
At Saint James, he will work as an admissions associate.
Prete was the head coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal, a Mid-Atlantic Conference member along with Saint James, for one year and then went to Quince Orchard as an assistant before making the move to join veteran coach Stu Vetter at Montrose Christian, where he had an opportunity to coach Kevin Durant.
“The MAC is on the rise and we hope to bring in kids that fit into the Saint James program,” Prete said. “I’m really excited. It takes time to build, doesn’t happen overnight, but I want to build the best organization.”
One issue of interest will be the return of former Herald-Mail Player of the Year Obi Enechionyia, a top-level Division I prospect who came into the program when Easton was hired.
“I want him, but I also want him to make the right decision for himself,” Prete said.
During Easton’s two years, the Saints went 30-24. Ironically, Easton cited the travel from his home in Herndon, Va., to Saint James as a reason for leaving.