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Browning steps down

Mike Browning has stepped down as the Serrano boys basketball head coach.

Browning, who led the Diamondbacks to their first league title in 20 years in 2005, will be replaced by assistant Brian Carrasquillo.

Browning said he had thought about retiring before the 2008-2009 season, but decided to go one more year.

“Better to leave a year early than a year late,” Browning said. “It’s time to do something different.”

One of the reasons, he said, is that he wants to spend more time with his family.

“You coach basketball and you are coaching all summer,” Browning said.

Browning said he will coach Serrano’s golf team next season and help out the basketball team in the winter if needed.

“I’m still going to help Brian out, whatever he wants me to do,” he said.

Under Browning, the D’backs won four straight Mojave River League titles from 2005 to 2008, helped by Daily Press Athlete of the Year winners Harrison Gaines, James Tonic and Jamaal Franklin. The D’backs had won 34 consecutive league games until they lost to Hesperia in January.

But the team finished third in the MRL this year and lost Franklin, who as a senior led the league in points (31.7), blocks (4.9), rebounds (15.4) and steals (3.5), to graduation.

“(The players) kind of understand that the team is not the same anymore,” Carrasquillo said. “They are working hard though. I’ve got a senior corps that’s been working hard. I’m looking forward to this season because with this corps, they’ve got a chance for the title.”

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