North Andover announced last Friday that they hired alum Paul Tanglis as the new head coach of the Scarlet Knights boys’ basketball team. Tanglis will succeed longtime North Andover coach Mike McVeigh, who led the team to 497 victories over the course of 31 years. Tanglis, a 2000 graduate of NA, was the head coach at Stoneham for the last three years following a three-year stint as associate head coach at Medford. He inherits a team coming off a 19-5 season and a Merrimack Valley Conference championship in its first year in the league.
Tanglis sat down for an interview with ESPNBoston.com following his hire to discuss his hire, and the program's future.
Q: What was your initial reaction on getting the head job at your old high school?
A: "I got the call from the A.D., John Longley, and I was absolutely thrilled. As a coach, to come back where you grew up, where you played, and to have your coaching career come full circle back to where it all began for you is something special. It was a very proud moment and I was honored because there were a lot of good candidates. I’m thrilled with the opportunity."
Q: Have you had a chance to communicate at all with the players who will be coming back this year?
A: "I really don’t know too much, I’m just really excited to get to know all the kids and start building relationships with them. As far as who and what, that’s something that will come with getting to know these guys over the summer and seeing them play in the fall. I’m really looking forward to meeting them and getting started."
Q: You’re succeeding your own high school coach, Mike McVeigh. What does that mean to you?
A: "It’s a great honor. Obviously I played for coach, I had him in the classroom, I had a chance to coach with him for a year. To be able to continue the tradition at North Andover really means a lot to me. Coach has always been a big part of my basketball life."
Q: What are some short term and long term goals for the development of your program?
A: "Short-term, it’s just getting to know the kids, building relationships with them, and kind of getting the feel for what type of program we’re going to be. Long-term, we’re in a very competitive league, you want to stay competitive in the Merrimack Valley Large and obviously you want to put yourself in position to make the tournament and keep making runs in the tournament. North Andover as a whole has all those ingredients that you’d want to have a successful program. Obviously there’s been a lot of success in the past, I just want to continue that success and then take it to the next level."
Q: What are some of your defensive principles, and views on style of play?
A: "Defense has always been a big part of what we do, the success we had was pretty much predicated on the play we play defense. If we play defense, rebound, take care of the ball -- we’ll give ourselves a chance to win. I’m going to be looking to play an up-tempo style, but I’ll see what we have in terms of player personnel."
Q: The MVC was a buzzsaw this past year, how do you prepare for such challenging games every single night?
A: "Great teams from top to bottom. Night in and night out, as a coach, you need to make sure your team is prepared and as a program you have to realize that there are no nights off. The league will make us better and when we do get into the tournament, playing Central, Lawrence, Andover, and teams like that twice during the year is only going to help us get better and make a run in the playoffs."