Boys Basketball: Ryan Webber ready to embark on transition to Warren

Updated: May 9, 2012 9:27PM

On Tuesday night, he was hired to replace arguably the most successful coach in Lake County boys basketball history.

And next winter, he’ll embark on his first season as coach at Warren minus the six graduating seniors who were directly responsible for last year’s magnificent 26-4 campaign.

That said, the biggest challenge Ryan Webber will face this year is what’s directly in front of him today.

He has to sell his house in Moline and buy one in our area.

And you thought replacing Lake County coaching legend Chuck Ramsey at Warren was going to be tough!

Webber made the 189-mile, toll-heavy return trip to Moline on Wednesday evening after meeting with basketball players at Warren and also spending time with some of the coaches who assisted Coach Ramsey and hopefully will be familiar faces at Coach Webber’s side next winter.

I’ve met a lot of current coaching staff. I tried to meet each of them individually today, which went really well,” Webber said. “It was a really productive day from that standpoint, and then getting to meet some of the players ... that was really good for a first day.”

The current plan calls for the summer season to start in less than four weeks.

“We tentatively are starting June 4, which is a Monday,” coach said. “We’ll be here as quickly as we can find a place to live and sell our house, but I plan to be here as much as I can starting June 4 with our camp.”

Longtime followers of Warren hoops will note that the Devils’ summer schedule will mirror what has been done in the past.

“It’s amazing how no matter where you’re at in the state, you hear about who plays in what and where the good teams are at, that kind of thing. So, I’m already pretty familiar with what they’ve done here,” he said. “I’m not going to change anything right now. We’re going to keep it as familiar as we can.”

Warren athletic director Mark Pos’ first reaction to his new coach was the exact same one every Blue Devil fan will have when they attend the season-opening Turkey tourney with Waukegan and North Chicago in November.

“When he first walked in (for the interview), I think we all took a step back for a second (because he’s so young; 32 years old),” said Pos with a chuckle.

“You look at his resume and go, ‘Really?’ He’s been successful at every level wherever he’s been ... that tells me he knows what he’s doing. That’s not just luck.”

“He handled himself extremely well, and he understood what we were looking for. He has the potential to maintain what we’ve done. That’s a big part of this job. We’ve been an outstanding program. His job is to keep us moving in that direction and ultimately one day, hopefully, become state champs in boys basketball.”

Webber played hoops at Galesburg, but was not a college player at Western Illinois University. He’s been coaching every since, starting at Hononegah, then Byron, then Moline and now at what very well could be the first school in Lake County history to win a state title in boys basketball.

“I’m not going to replace Coach Ramsey, nor am I going to try to,” the new coach said. “What he’s done he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for and hopefully we can sustain what he’s been able to do over a long period of time. We want to get to some of the marquee games that he was able to get to at the state level. That’s the goal.”

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