Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - July 1, 2011

A new challenge for Weems

Menlo School boys' coach takes job with NBA's Warriors

by Keith Peters

A lot of positive things are happening with the NBA's Golden State Warriors these days. The team has new owners, a new coach, three new draft picks and a new franchise in the Development League.

And now, the Warriors have Kris Weems.

Weems, the former Stanford basketball three-point shooting standout and most recently the boys' basketball coach at Menlo School for the past seven years, has accepted a job with the Warriors and officially will join the team on August 1.

"It's still pretty unreal," Weems said Thursday after signing with the Warriors earlier this week. "I'm going into it eyes wide open. I'll be like a sponge and soak it all up."

While he presently has no official job title, Weems will be working in player development as a skills coach. One thing he expects to do is work with players headed to the team's new D-League franchise — the Dakota Wizards. He'll accompany players and work with them while integrating them into the system.

Weems also will be on the bench with new head coach Mark Jackson, although not sitting alongside him.

"I will be sitting behind the bench, rather than on it," Weems said. "I'll be in a suit, but I won't be yelling at the refs!"

Menlo School Athletic Director Craig Schoof, who found out about Weems leaving just this week, said the move is a positive one.

"It's a great opportunity for Kris, obviously," Schoof said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they (the Warriors) were grooming him for the D-League coaching job in the next few years."

Schoof and Weems met with the Menlo boys' basketball team on Thursday morning.

"It wasn't easy for Kris and it wasn't easy on the players," Schoof said.

Schoof said there was nothing personal with Weems leaving.

"It wasn't like he was leaving for another high school team," Schoof said. "This is a big step up."

Weems has a few more weeks at Menlo with his other job in the development office. He's also coaching his AAU basketball team at the Kris Weems Academy. Everything should wrap up by mid- to late-July before Weems and his basketball-loving wife of nearly two years, Neda, make plans to move from their home in Redwood Shores to across the bay, where he can be closer to the Golden State players and offices.

Weems had a natural connection with the Warriors and new co-owner Joe Lacob.

"I knbow Joe Lacob very well," Weems said. "I coached both his boys."

Weems coached both Kirk and Kent Lacob. Kent finished his prep career this past season.

Weems met with Warriors' General Manager Larry Riley about six weeks ago and the two talked about a job that didn't even exist at that time. Weems also met with Bob Myers, the new assistant GM and Vice President of Basketball Operations, and spent time with Jackson following his recent hiring.

Weems, 34, brings a wealth of experience to the job. He played at Stanford (1996-99), made the All-Pac-10 Conference team ('98 and '99) and helped the Cardinal win the Pac-10 title in 1998-99, its first since the 1962-63 season, while playing alongside Art Lee, Mark Madsen, Tim Young and Peter Sauer.

Weems also has worked on a college coaching staff, in player development, and has been head coach of an AAU team.

While he once thought that his dream job would be working in the front office of an NBA team, this new opportunity may be even better as it keeps him in coaching and teaching.

"It seems like a great fit," Weems said. "It's more hands-on basketball. The timing of this is really great. I'm going to have a chance to learn from a lot of sharp guys."

Weems finished his seven years at Menlo with a 136-59 record. He won Central Coast Section Division IV titles in 2008 and 2009, going 23-8 and 22-3, respectively, those seasons. He went 10-16 in 2010 and 13-13 this past season, but had a lot of young players returning and the future looked bright for Menlo once again.

"Obviously, I am sad for Menlo, but very happy for Kris to get this opportunity," Schoof said. "Kris has given Menlo seven outstanding years and will be missed greatly by everyone from players, coaches, parents and the Menlo Community."

Schoof presently is looking for a new head coach for his boys' basketball team. Those interested can contact Schoof at cschoof@menloschool.org as soon as possible for details.

You just never know where the job might lead.

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