By Bruce Campbell Staff Writer

Dover's girls' four state Class B state basketball championships in the last five years have helped the school land a prominent boys coach.

Jeff Mahoney, who took Cache to a 23-7 record and a Class 4A state quarterfinal berth, has taken the Longhorn reins from Brady Barnes, who resigned recently to take an administrative position at Hennessey. Barnes will be coaching the Eagle boys as well.

Mahoney, a Roosevelt native, was looking to move his family to a small school.

"Dover seems like a perfect fit,'' Mahoney said.

Especially for his daughter, Brooke, a junior who started on a Cache team that won 17 games.

"She's played AAU and summer basketball with the girls from Dover and she really liked them,'' Mahoney said. "This (size of school) isn't something you worry about when they're little, but it's a big thing now. Both of my kids were ready to make the move after meeting people up there. We left it up to them."'

Mahoney's son, Tyler, a seventh-grader, doesn't play football. The Longhorns playing fall baseball appealed to him as well.

Mahoney took the Longhorns to a team camp at Frontier last week. The Longhorns won six games, despite having only six players.

Dover was 14-15 last season, but won a district championship. The Longhorns graduated four players from that team. High-scoring Devon Thrash will be back for his senior season. Newt Compton, who had four 20-point plus games, will be a junior.

Mahoney thinks he can be competitive immediately. His best assets, he said, are Dover's success in girls basketball and baseball.

"Anytime you have success in anything, it's a good thing,'' he said. "We'll try to take that and build on it and go from there."'

Mahoney's Cache team allowed only 38 points a game last season. He is comfortable both with a transition game and spreading the floor.

"We'll do whatever we need to do,'' Mahoney said. "It all goes back to your kids. Good kids will allow you to do whatever you want to do. We'll get after people. We'll do a little bit of everything until we figure out what we need to be doing."'

Mahoney will be Dover's third coach in three years.

"If the kids buy into what you're doing, that's no big deal,'' he said. "If they don't buy into it, they don't buy into it. If you can get your kids to buy into what you're telling them, they will play hard and we'll get along."'

Mahoney, a 20-year coaching veteran, has coached at Navajo, Snyder, Tuttle, Washita Heights and Tuttle.

"I've been to the state tournament three times so I know what it takes to get there,'' he said,. "Hopefully, the kids will buy into what we're selling. Every move I made I felt was a good move."'

Mahoney shows and sells club calves. Dover was attractive because he could get his children into a more of an agriculture-type situation.

Mahoney played baseball at Cameron University. He said he hasn't been influenced by one particular coach.

"Throughout the years I've took a little bit here and there,'' he said. "The biggest thing about coaches is that we all borrow from each other. If we see something we can't stop, we usually put it in."'

While he shares the same small school background as his future players, Mahoney said kids are kids.

"I think kids from rural communities have a good work ethic,'' Mahoney said. "This is not to say that big school kids don't have one. There's not a whole lot to do in Dover. Sports is what keeps them going. We'll build off the success they had in the other programs."'

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