Posted: 6:56 pm Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Boca Raton names former player Max Spinner as new boys’ basketball coach 

By Jeff Greer

It didn’t take long for Boca Raton to find its new boys’ basketball coach.

Max Spinner, Boca's next hoops coach, was an All-Area selection in 2006.

Max Spinner, 23, the third-leading scorer in school history, will return to his alma mater as its head boys’ basketball coach, Boca Principal Geoff McKee said Wednesday. He’ll replace dismissed coach Rob Long, who was forced out on Friday.

Spinner is currently a fifth-year senior at Westminster College in Pennsylvania. He’s already obtained his bachelor’s degree from Westminster, and he’ll finish his graduate work in education in May. Once he arrives at Boca and gets certified as a teacher, he’ll likely teach ESE classes.

“It’s just an unbelievable opportunity,” said Spinner, who was walking into a team dinner before Westminster’s game at Bethany College on Wednesday night. “It’s a dream come true to coach my alma mater.”

Boca was 17-8 last season and will return all five starters to next season’s team, but Boca administration wanted a change in leadership style for its basketball program. Long, who coached Suncoast to a state championship in 1990, was shocked by his dismissal.

McKee said Spinner was a slam-dunk hire. The young coach has coached youth teams in the Boca Hoops youth league and worked as a de facto assistant coach at Westminster while rehabilitating his torn ACL earlier in his college career. Spinner said he wanted to become a graduate assistant for a college program after his final playing season, but coaching high school — especially at his old school — too good to pass up.

“I don’t want to dwell on the past,” Spinner said. “I’ve been given a great opportunity. That’s what my focus is — it’s not about me, it’s about the kids progressing.”