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Our coaches are carefully interviewed and approved by the club and then provided with numerous hours of basketball skills training from our in-house trainer, Coach Gary Smith.  In addition, every Wildcats coach is screened by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and must complete all three levels of the nationally recognized Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) training program.  Our coaches must possess knowledge and love of basketball, but, more important, they must demonstrate a commitment to providing their players with a positive, character-building sports experience based on encouragement and respect.
 

Meet Our Wildcats Coaches & Trainers
 

Steve Sousa
Wildcats President; 3rd Grade Boys Head Coach; 7th Grade Boys Head Coach; Director of Wildcats Development League; Director of Junior Wildcats

Steve Sousa joined the Wildcats coaching staff nine years ago, bringing over 23 years of coaching basketball at the middle and high school level. For the past ten years he has been involved with all levels of Wildcats, including the introduction of Junior Wildcats and Wildcats Development League. Coach Sousa was the  Head Freshman, Head JV and then Assistant Varsity coach for Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose from 1994-2000. After relocating to Davis in 2001 he assisted numerous local Junior High and High schools throughout Yolo County before settling on the Wildcats.   Steve lives in Davis with his wife Patti and sons Sam and Nick. Fun Fact: Coach Steve is a gourmet cook!

 
Marc Ross
4th Grade Boys Coach; 6th Grade Boys Assistant Coach

Marc Ross loves basketball and coaching.  He played basketball at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and also has an MBA from UC Davis.  Marc has been as assistant coach for Dixon high School basketball and has coached youth baseball and basketball the past few years.  He works in commercial real estate and lives in Davis with his wife Syreeta and his sons, Cooper and Tyler.  Fun Fact: Marc grew 6 inches the summer before his Sophomore year of high school!

 

Steve Smith
5th Grade Boys Head Coach; 8th Grade Boys Head Coach

Steve Smith is a former all-conference UCD Aggie basketball player who has been coaching varsity high school basketball in the Sacramento area since 1997.  He started his coaching career in 1994 as the 5th grade coach at St. James school.  Coach Smith has been an elementary school teacher in the Natomas Unified School district since 1998 and has been the head varsity coach at both of Natomas' high schools.  He is originally from Oakland, Califormia where he played high school basketball at Bishop O'Dowd and participated in two state championship games in three years on varsity.  He has also worked with UCD basketball and trained athletes at the high school, college and professional levels.  Fun Fact: Coach Smith considers himself a better cook than he was a basketball player.

 

Derek Pickus
5th Grade Boys Assistant Coach

Derek Pickus has coached youth sports (basketball, soccer and baseball) for nearly 10 years.  Derek played basketball and volleyball in high school and was recruited to play volleyball for the UCLA Bruins until a back injury ended his competitive playing days.  Derek graduated from UC Davis (transferred from UCLA) and lives in Davis with his wife and two sons.  At 6'7", Derek is hard to miss in the gym!  Fun fact:  Derek is truly addicted to fishing - especially for Salmon, Trout and Steelhead.  In his free time you'll often find him standing in the American or Feather River chasing whatever species in in season.  If you like to fish, let him now - he loves to talk about all things fishing related!

 

Jake Rassam
6th Grade Boys Coach
Jake Rassam is a 3rd year Business Major at UC Davis. He played 3 years of varsity basketball in San Francisco, CA at Archbishop Riordan High School. His senior year, the team won their first section championship in over 8 years. Jake has been coaching grades K-3 for about 6 years, and loves to spread knowledge and love for the game in any capacity. He also played soccer and placed 3rd in high jump at the CCS championship. Fun Fact: Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic broke the rim with a windmill dunk at Jake’s school.
 
Pat Wallace
7th Grade Boys Assistant Coach
Pat Wallace was born and raised in Sacramento and has been coaching youth sports for the past 15 years.  Pat was a 3-sport athlete (basketball, soccer and baseball) at McClatchy High School and was an All-City and Optimist All Star selection in each.  He went on to play point guard at Sacramento State for 4 years and set the school records for assists and steals.  He has two daughters and a son that he has coachd in all different sports.  Fun Fact:  As a 12 year-old, Pat traveled and played in the Little League World Series in Williamsort, PA.
 
TRAINERS

 

Brett Cauchi
Team Trainer

Brett Cauchi has a passion for teaching leadership and life lessons through the game of basketball. With his new training and leadership company, Brett Cauchi Basketball, he focuses on teaching reads and game situational basketball along with leadership and communication skills. With eight years of college basketball playing and coaching experience, Brett understands the level that is needed to train in order to make it to the college level. He is currently the assistant coach at Folsom Lake College for the women’s basketball team. Brett is a graduate of Chico State where he coached for three years from 2013-2016, including an NCAA Tournament second round appearance. And most recently, graduated with his masters degree from the University of Washington. Brett also works for Point Guard College (PGC) basketball camps throughout the summer as a coach trainer- training coaches and players across the United States and Canada.

 
 

 Darius Graham prides himself in providing elite level skill set and knowledge while most importantly instilling confidence in kids both on the court and in life. He graduated from UC Davis with the following D-I era career rankings: No. 2 in assists (418), No. 6 in free throws made (200), No. 7 in threepoint field goals made (125), No. 9 in points (923) and No. 10 in field goals made (299).  Graham is the third player in the program's all-time history to collect 400 or more assists. 

 

 

 J.T. Adenrele graduated UC Davis with the top career blocked shot total (111) and offensive rebounds total (204) in the porgram's Division 1 history.  J.T. tailors his training around post game/footwork, toughness and attitude.  The game of basketball requires every player to use these skills but for bigger, taller players, these skills are key to their success.

 

 

 

 The renowned Gary Smith is our Wildcat Coach Trainer. In his 36 years as the head coach at the University of Redlands, Coach Smith compiled more wins in the SCIAC than any coach in its history. He was named West Region Coach of the Year in 2007 along with the NABC Guardians of the Game Award for Education and the NABC D-III Outstanding Service Award that same year. His teams have led the nation in scoring 5 times with his 2004-05 team averaging and NCAA all Division record 132.4 points per game. Coach Smith and wife Carol moved to Davis after leaving Redlands to be closer to daughter Karen, son-in-law Jason and grandson Max. He has had previous experience with Wildcat Basketball when he assisted Steve Sousa with his 16U high school team. Carol & Gary enjoy fly fishing in the Sierras. Fun Fact: Coach Smith has had a close association with the German Basketball Federation for over 30 years conducting camps, clinics and touring with his teams in Europe.