Nalin Sood has seen it all during his 32 years as a basketball coach at Mountlake Terrace High School. A 1987 graduate of Mountlake Terrace, Sood has been the head boys basketball coach since 2001, leading the Hawks to the state tournament 11 times.
Sood has his team in position to make another state tournament run this season. Entering Friday the Hawks were 14-5 and ranked No. 14 in the WIAA’s 2A RPI rankings.
Sood, who teaches Business Technology at Mountlake Terrace, was inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA) Hall of Fame last summer. We recently caught up with him to ask five questions about his coaching career.
Why did you get into coaching?
It was always a dream of mine to be a coach since I was a youngster. I emulated NBA coaches. I remember getting ready to go to a wedding and my mom had dressed me in a suit. This was my chance to pretend to be Tommy Heinsohn of the Boston Celtics. I always was intrigued by the strategy side of coaching even in high school. My mentor and Hall of Fame coach (Roger Ottmar) asked me after my senior year to coach the Mountlake Terrace varsity in a spring league and it has been a passion that has never stopped.
What are your coaching aspirations?
To continue to be an advocate for coaches and the sport. We are at a critical time for high school athletics and the profession of coaching. I hope through my work with WIBCA and The National High School Basketball Coaches Association I can do my small part to make the sport better for our coaches and student-athletes.
Who is your coaching mentor?
No doubt, my high school head coach Roger Ottmar. He was the Mountlake Terrace High School boys basketball head coach (1978-2000) and a WIBCA Hall of Famer.
What is your best coaching resource?
My fellow high school coaches.
Who is the best player you’ve seen at the high school level in Washington?
Jon Brockman, Snohomish High School (Class of 2005)
Hometown: Mountlake Terrace
High School and college: Mountlake Terrace High School and Central Washington
Coaching career: 32 years at Mountlake Terrace, 19 as head coach, 13 as an assistant
(File photo from Seattle Times)