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Tuesday, Feb 05 2013 10:43 PM

Stockdale's Hager credits co-coach, players after milestone victory

BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Stockdale High girls basketball coach Glenn Hager hit two milestones in one night Tuesday with a 51-47 victory at Centennial.

The win was the 500th of Hager's career, which began in 1986-87 at Kern Valley and moved to Stockdale for its first varsity season in 1992-93.

It also was his 443rd Central Section victory, according to section historian Bob Barnett, a number that ties the section record set by Karen Wood, who coached various section teams after starting her career at Lemoore. Hager can set the record Thursday at Liberty.

Hager, 54, has said he will retire from coaching at the end of the season.

"It's been a great run," Hager said in a phone interview. "I've been blessed with great kids, great parents and a great coaching staff."

Hager has been joined for nearly all of his coaching years by Charles Stewart, whom he considers his co-coach.

"This is a tremendous honor, but it really doesn't happen without Charles Stewart," Hager said. "Things really started clicking at Stockdale when he came on board, and he's been huge part of this."

In 20 previous years at Stockdale, Hager has led the Mustangs to 11 league championships and four section titles -- Division I titles in 1998, 2005 and 2009, and a Division II title in 2002. The Mustangs have reached the Division I title game in seven of the past eight seasons.

Stockdale also holds a one-game lead on Bakersfield with three games to play in this year's Southwest Yosemite League race. The Central Section playoffs begin Feb. 19 -- meaning Hager will have several more chances to add to his totals.

"It's an honor to be associated with coaches that came before me and those types of things," Hager said, "but this really doesn't happen without Charles, without the great players we have. Those people are what's made our program successful."

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