Colin Darfour knows how young and talented the Clark boys basketball team is.
That’s why the former Mojave coach couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take over head coaching duties for the winner of the last three Division I-A state championships.
Darfour officially accepted the Clark job Thursday. He replaces Chad Beeten, who took the Crossroads High job in Santa Monica, California on May 3.
“My first thing is to come into the situation, assess everything and evaluate what I have right now,” Darfour said. “Our goal, every single year, is to win the state championship. That’s the focus. We’re not going to be more inclined here than at Mojave or anywhere else I’d coach.
“None of the (outside expectations) will be more stringent than I place upon myself. I have higher expectations for how we perform as a team than anyone.”
Darfour, who was 67-65 in five seasons at Mojave, led the Rattlers to the playoffs three times. Last season, Mojave finished 14-10 and 7-7 in the Sunset League, narrowly missing the playoffs.
“I’m tremendously thankful for all the relationships I’ve built at Mojave,” Darfour said. “This wasn’t a quality of life move. This was strictly a basketball move. I just want to thank everyone at Mojave who was supportive the last five years. I’m happy everything ended how it did. They’re in a much better place.”
Clark has moved to Class 4A for next season and will face the likes of Bishop Gorman, Desert Oasis and Durango.
“Our league is a gauntlet,” Darfour said. “It’s going to be a battle every night. And we’re going to do our best to come out on top the majority of those nights.”
Darfour inherits a talented core of young players. Clark lost its two top scorers from a season ago, but returns the majority of its team. The Chargers had 11 underclassmen, many of whom contributed significant minutes in their state title run.
Darfour already has a relationship with a few of the current players, as he coached them on the 15-and-under LV Prospects team a couple years ago on the AAU circuit.
“It was more about the type of kids I was going to be around at Clark,” Darfour said. “Guys that have high GPAs, guys that know what it means to compete, know how to win. Just be able to come into an environment and nurture the competitive spirit that is already there, as opposed to building it from scratch. It was a good opportunity.”
Beeten, who was 132-44 in six seasons at Clark, showed his approval of the hiring on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
“Congrats to (Darfour) for being named the next head coach at (Clark). Program in good hands for the future!” Beeten tweeted.