Skip to main content

Nalin Sood steps down as Mountlake Terrace boys basketball coach after 24 seasons

Sood, who is also WIBCA's executive director, won 381 games with the Hawks, including a fourth-place showing nearly three weeks ago at the Class 3A championships.

Nalin Sood has held a life priority list that is pretty straight forward.

It's all about family, teaching, coaching basketball and continuing to lead the mission of the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA).

But at 55, Sood felt as if he was at an age when he had to give something up.

And on Monday, he did - stepping down after 37 seasons on the Mountlake Terrace High School boys basketball bench, including the past 24 seasons as the man in charge.

Sood racked up 381 wins and 15 WIAA tournament appearances guiding the Hawks, including a third–place showing in 2005.

"On and off, I had been thinking about it," Sood told SBLIve WA on Tuesday. "I knew kind of going into this season."

But Sood never mentioned it. His concentration was on a promising squad with seven seniors, led by guard Jaxon Dubiel and forward Zaveon Jones.

The Hawks captured the 3A Wesco title, then won three games in the Tacoma Dome, including a final-day victory over outgoing state champion Garfield, to place fourth at the Class 3A championships.

All the while, Sood began researching the thoughts of some of the great coaches in sports who revealed what led them to retirement, including ex-Alabama football coach Nick Saban and former Villanova men's basketball coach Jay Wright, both NCAA Division I title winners.

"Too many of my boxes," Sood said, "were checking with theirs."

Sood is unique in the sense he graduated from Mountlake Terrace in 1987 after playing guard for former coach/mentor Roger Ottmar, then started on the coaching staff weeks after graduation.

After Ottmar retired in 2000, Sood was hired as his replacement - and his teams became some of the most consistent winning types around the state.

Sood, who was inducted into the WIBCA hall of fame in 2018, will continue to serve as the executive director of the state's coaches association. He is also an executive board member of the National High School Basketball Coaches Association.

"This game has been way too good to me," Sood said. "I don't know if I can ever repay it."