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B.J. Mayer out as girls’ basketball coach, in as athletics director at Iowa City West
He will succeed Craig Huegel — who is heading to Benton Community — on July 1
IOWA CITY — One of B.J. Mayer’s first duties as Iowa City West athletics director will be to find his successor as girls’ basketball coach.
Mayer’s hiring as AD was approved by the Iowa City Community School Board on Tuesday, effective July 1.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead a whole athletics program,” Mayer said. “Things have been pretty good at West, a lot of positives, and I want to keep that going.
“I have enough relationships, and I want to tweak some things that will keep West near the top.”
Mayer, 50 and a native of Osage, will succeed Craig Huegel, who accepted the AD position at Benton Community.
“I have seen B.J. perform from a variety of perspectives ... as a colleague on the West coaching staff, as his assistant principal at Northwest (Junior High), and as a parent of kids who have been in his classroom and have played on his teams,” West principal Mitch Gross said. “In each of these roles he has demonstrated passion, expertise, and the ability to form meaningful relationships.”
The promotion means the end, at least for now, of an extremely successful 15-year run as West’s girls’ basketball coach. Mayer compiled a 258-92 mark in Iowa City, winning state championships in 2012 and 2018.
Mayer’s overall 24-year coaching ledger is 386-175. He took 10 teams to state — one at North Iowa (1999), two at Spirit Lake (2006-07) and seven at West (2011-13, 2015, 2017-18, 2021).
He coached numerous all-state players, including Ally Disterhoft, Miss Iowa Basketball 2013, and was selected as The Gazette’s girls’ basketball coach of the decade for the 2010s.
“I am certain that I will miss coaching,” he said.
Mayer has two sons at Iowa City Liberty: Luke will be a senior next fall; Brayden will be a sophomore.
“We’ve had numerous conversations about it, and their opinion mattered to me,” Mayer said. “West has always been home for me.”
West faces Liberty in baseball on Mayer’s first day at his new job.
Whoever Mayer tabs as his girls’ basketball successor inherits a talented core.
West returns 73 percent of its scoring from a team that finished 19-4 last year. The top five scorers will be back — seniors Meena Tate, Anna Prouty and Keiko Ono-Fullard and juniors Melae Lacy and Lucy Wolf.
The Trojans are No. 5 in The Gazette’s 2022-23 Class 5A preseason rankings.
Iowa City High also is looking for a new girls’ basketball coach; Bill McTaggart stepped down May 16 after 23 years with the Little Hawks.