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3:45 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Travis Stedman named next head basketball coach at Prescott

Prep Boys Basketball

Travis Stedman, right, talks with former Embry-Riddle head coach Becky Burke, middle, and Rachel Galligan, during a game against Benedictine-Mesa on Dec. 7, 2017, in Prescott. Stedman was named the next head boys basketball coach at Prescott on Thursday, June 14, 2018, after longtime coach Adam Neely resigned. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, File)

Travis Stedman, right, talks with former Embry-Riddle head coach Becky Burke, middle, and Rachel Galligan, during a game against Benedictine-Mesa on Dec. 7, 2017, in Prescott. Stedman was named the next head boys basketball coach at Prescott on Thursday, June 14, 2018, after longtime coach Adam Neely resigned. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, File)

Stedman coached 1 year at Embry-Riddle, was Badgers assistant for 7 seasons under Adam Neely

PRESCOTT — Returning the Badgers after a year as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball program at Embry-Riddle, Travis Stedman was officially named the next head boys’ basketball coach for Prescott on Thursday morning.

Stedman replaces longtime head coach Adam Neely, who resigned two weeks ago to take a newly created administrative position within the Prescott Unified School District.

Prescott Athletic Director Missy Townsend made the announcement Thursday morning and issued a statement that said the Badgers are “excited” to have Stedman back in the fold.

“His experience at the high school and the collegiate level will be a great boon to the program and department,” Townsend said.

The Sidney, Montana, native spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Badgers under Neely before leaving for Embry-Riddle in 2017 to work for than-head coach Becky Burke.

Burke stepped down at Embry-Riddle in April to take the head job at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.

Stedman and Burke teamed together and led the Eagles to a program-best 21-win season in 2017-18 and NAIA top 25 ranking. Embry-Riddle also qualified to participate in the Cal Pac Tournament last season for the first time in school history.

“Travis loves the game, and was a tireless worker,” Burke said of her former assistant via text message Thursday afternoon. “There were times I would ask him a question about an opponent that was weeks away and he had already watched multiple games and studied them. That’s the kind of coach he his.

“His teams will always be prepared and I know he will get the best out of them. He’s a winner, and I fully expect that to carry on to Prescott.”

The International Academy of Design and Technology graduate said he was “honored and humbled” to be the next head coach of the Badgers.

“We will work diligently and with great energy to make everyone associated with Prescott High School and the community very proud of our product,” Stedman said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get started.”

UPHILL BATTLE?

After the 2017-18 season finished with a 66-52 loss to Tempe in the 4A conference state play-in game back in February, eight seniors, including Kody Jones, Dillan Osborn, Braden Lopez, Dallin Jex and Cameron Parsons, had played their last game.

And since the Badgers have qualified for the state playoffs only three times (2001-02, 2012-13, 2015-16) in the last 17 seasons, Stedman’s challenge will be to quickly find the right mix of talent and have early success, perhaps even steady success during this summer’s schedule.

The good news for Stedman, a young core of juniors including Aaron Greene, Harris Temple and starter Korey Schwartz, will likely return in 2018-19.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.