BRADENTON -- More than 3,000 miles separate Tim Pflug's previous coaching position and his new one.
But Pflug sees plenty of similarities between St. Mary's School in Medford, Ore., and Saint Stephen's, where has been hired as the new girls basketball coach.
St. Mary's girls hadn't been to the state playoffs since 1996 before Pflug took over the program in 2007 and led it to back-to-back state tournaments.
Now he's at Saint Stephen's, where the girls' hoops team has never won a region playoff game and hasn't advanced to a region tournament since 1999.
"I'm a huge fundamentals coach," Pflug said. "If the kids are fundamentally sound, I can run any defense and offense I want. I watched some of our games from last year, and we need to hit the fundamentals hard."
Pflug, who also coached the St. Mary's boys team from 1995-2004, said he likes to run an up-tempo game. But he plans from starting from the ground up with the Falcons, who went 1-17 last year for first-year coach Scott Dell.
"If a team isn't fundamentally sound, it's hard on everyone -- the players, the coaches," he said. "If we get to be fundamentally sound, we can pick up the tempo a bit, be more aggressive on defense, get the ball off turnovers and get out and run. My teams have done well with that, both girls and boys. Once we get a handle
on that, we can run a couple of different offenses."
Plfug, 60, came to the area last summer after his wife landed a job in Clearwater.
"We made the move, and it was too late to do anything last year," Pflug said. "I saw the opening and applied. I thought, 'What the heck? I still want to coach.'"
And now he has chance to help breathe some life back into the Falcons' basketball program.
"I'm looking forward to it," Pflug said. "I know what I'm capable of coaching and capable of teaching. So we'll see."