Jeremy Schiller took over the Lakewood Ranch High boys basketball program in 2011 with the intention of creating not just a winning program, but a winning culture.
A decade later, after two trips to the state Final Four and one state championship game appearance, Schiller is saying goodbye.
Schiller accepted a varsity boys basketball head coaching position with IMG Academy pending a background check. His last day at the school will be Aug. 13.
Schiller, who has had offers to leave the Mustangs in the past, including from colleges, said the opening at IMG was a "perfect storm" of factors. Not only is it a chance to work with high-level athletes, but he said he can also remain close to his family, who all live in the area. He said he has a good relationship with many members of the IMG basketball program after taking part in tournaments at the school and playing the school's national team, including basketball director Brian Nash. The position will also allow Schiller to focus on basketball full-time; at Lakewood Ranch, Schiller was a physical education teacher in addition to coaching the basketball team.
Schiller said leaving the Mustangs was not a decision he took lightly.
"The hardest part of all of this is the relationship part," Schiller said. "We use terms like 'family' a lot, but this program really has been special to me. It had to be a great opportunity for me to leave.
"We have been so successful the last 10 years, not just on the court but off the court. It's going to sound weird but I think my favorite moments are after players are gone. When players are in their freshman or sophomore years of college and they come back for a game of pick-up ball with the coaches, or just give me a call. Our relationships with our players are real and I plan on maintaining those relationships. That's the good thing about this job, that I'll still be around. It's not like I'm going to California."
Schiller said he believes the next Lakewood Ranch coach, whoever it is, will be walking into a situation built for success.
"It's actually a bad time to be leaving because we're going to be really good again," Schiller said, laughing. "I would love for them to surpass what we've done. I hope they win a state title this year."