By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
Jason Porter always wanted to become a head coach and after being tutored by one of the best prep coaches in America Reggie Morris, Jr. he finally got his opportunity when he was hired by Inglewood High School in May 2022.
A graduate of St. Bernard, Porter had toiled as an assistant and lower level coach at his alma mater and Redondo Union enjoying success winning a couple of league championships, but his respect came as a trusted assistant to Morris who led both Bernard’s and Redondo to sectional championships.
Morris high school coaching tree has grown from the root with Arturo Jones at Leuzinger and Roy Walker, Jr. at St. Monica emerging on the prep circuit.
Lurking in the shadow of Morris, programs took notice of Porter which led him back to St. Bernard in 2021 where he served as the associate head coach alongside Tony Bland before finally earning the Inglewood job.
Porter had interviewed with the Sentinels twice before, losing out on the job to subsequent candidates who were hired to be head coach.
However, when principal Debra Tate decided to replace Omar Bray, she called upon a familiar name in Porter.
He will have his work cut out from him. The Sentinels basketball program has not been elite for quite some while, long past their glory days when names like Reggie Theus and NBA Hall of famer Paul Pierce donned a green and white uniform.
Porter is not deterred, but realizes that his first priority will be to defeat crosstown nemesis Morningside.
“That’s goal number one for sure,” Porter said.
Inglewood returns three players from last season playoff team which includes 6’6 forward Kenyon Agurs, who was also a member of the title contending football team. Agurs is the Sentinel’s best player, but there is also tremendous promise in 5’7 sophomore point guard Danaus Cockrel who averages 18 points and about 8 assist per game.
Porter is the fourth Inglewood coach in three years, so at some point establishing continuity will be important for sustained success.
Inglewood got off to an even 2-2 start before their home opener on Dec. 7 against Lawndale.
Porter, 42, believes in establishing the core principals of PRIDE, Preparation, Respect, Intense, Discipline and Excellence.
This is his first head coaching gig, but thanks to Morris he appears to be fully prepared.