Boys' basketball: St. Clair leaves Cheyenne Mountain to return to Rampart

May 8, 2014 Updated: May 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm
photo - 2010 file photo of J'on St. Clair when he coached for Rampart.   KEVIN KRECK, THE GAZETTE
2010 file photo of J'on St. Clair when he coached for Rampart. KEVIN KRECK, THE GAZETTE 

J'on St. Clair enjoyed his time with the Doherty girls' basketball team and the Cheyenne Mountain boys' squad over the last four combined seasons.

But he never felt quite at home.

Now, he can say he's headed back.

St. Clair resigned from coaching the boys' basketball team at Cheyenne Mountain on Tuesday and on Thursday was announced as Rampart's boys' hoops coach.

"It's like Dorothy from 'The Wizard of Oz' says," St. Clair said, "'There's no place like home.'"

St. Clair coached Cheyenne Mountain to the Class 4A semifinals this season and a record of 21-6. He finished 57-20 with three trips in three seasons to the postseason.

St. Clair's resignation was unexpected.

"I was a little shocked," athletic director Kris Roberts said. "It was a great year, but a hard year. You never like to see coaches go, but yeah, it caught me by surprise.

"J'on did a great job. He had a lot of talent and had to keep them on the right path. He got through some ups and down, and got through a rough patch in the middle of the season ... to get that ship righted and play in the final four was just great."

The Indians dropped back-to-back games in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference to open league play 2-2. After that, St. Clair guided the Indians to a 10-game league win streak and an identical record of league champ Sand Creek (losing out only on a tiebreaker) before the semifinals run.

Before Cheyenne Mountain, St. Clair coached one season at Doherty in 2010-11. He guided the Spartans to a 18-7 record and the second round of the playoffs.

With the Rams he turned a program around. His first three seasons, his Rams went a combined 27-42. His last two they went 45-7 and made back-to-back trips to the quarterfinals.

He's hoping to get the Rams back to that level.

"The main reason was after I was at Rampart the first time, it always felt like I shouldn't have left," St. Clair said. I'm very grateful I had the opportunity to coach at Doherty and Cheyenne Mountain, and I coached great kids. But it was just always, if I could go back to Rampart I would go back."

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