Girls basketball: Bruce Funk named new coach at Aptos High

A majority of the basketball team is returning, including All-SCCAL First-Team player Natalia Ackerman. (Tony Nunez — Register-Pajaronian)

The Aptos High athletics department earlier this week announced Bruce Funk as its new head coach for the girls’ basketball team. 

Funk will replace Chris Grieves, who coached one season for the Mariners. He will also be the program’s third coach in as many seasons.  

“I’m very excited to coach at Aptos next year,” said Funk, who applied for the position shortly after moving to Aptos about three months ago.

Funk said Aptos High has a great athletics program from what he’s heard.

“They have excellent facilities, and after meeting the administration I was convinced their administration was very supportive of the program and sports in general,” Funk said.  

The Aptos High athletics department earlier this week announced Bruce Funk as its new head coach for the girls’ basketball team. (contributed)

Funk was the head coach at Foothill High in Pleasanton for the past eight years. He won more than 100 games and led the Falcons to the North Coast Section playoffs five times. 

In 2014, Foothill finished 19-9 overall and the team was ranked 91st in the state. 

Funk was also a coach at Mission-San Jose High and has experience coaching Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams. 

Other notable acknowledgments include the Darrell Hirashima Coaching Excellence Award.

“Bruce (Funk) seems like an experienced coach and seems like he’s going to be a perfect fit here at Aptos,” said Aptos High athletic director Travis Fox.

Fox said Funk has plenty of experience playing on the court, as well. He played at Ohlone College, where he’s a member of the school’s Hall of Fame, and was a scholarship player Eastern New Mexico University.

Funk never coached against Aptos during his tenure at Foothill, but he got a chance to watch some film from last year’s team. He also spoke with other coaches in the Central Coast Section to get a feel for the program.

“It was all favorable reports,” he said.  

Grieves last season led Aptos to a 23-7 overall record and 9-1 standing in league play, which included a Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Tournament title after tying Soquel for the regular-season crown. 

Grieves, who was awarded the league’s Coach of the Year, guided the Mariners to the Central Coast Section Division III championship and a CIF D-II state appearance.

Chris Grieves coached the girls basketball team for one season at Aptos High. (Tony Nunez — Register-Pajaronian)

A majority of the basketball team is returning, including All-SCCAL First-Team players Gabby Giuffre and Natalia Ackerman, who is committed to NCAA Division I Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. 

All-league honorable mentions Rylee Mennie and twins Madison and Emma Stefanini are also expected to return.

“It’s always exciting to meet new players, it really is,” Funk said. “I’m very excited and motivated to do that.”

Funk said he’s hoping the players have the same mindset and are looking forward to working on a new season with him. 

Funk added that he hopes to continue the success the program has had over the years. 

“And eventually I hope to build on that success and make sure that it’s something that can continue on in the future,” Funk said. 

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