By Bill Burt
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — The only people happier than Paul Tanglis, after he got official word yesterday that he was the new North Andover High boys basketball coach, may have been his parents, Paul and Noreen Tanglis.
“They always went to our games with Stoneham,” said Tanglis, who spent the last two seasons with Stoneham High. “They still live in North Andover and they are very excited about the shorter commute.”
Tanglis, 32, was rumored as one of the favorites to become the new head coach at NAHS when Mike McVeigh stepped down after 31 years in March.
He not only played for McVeigh, graduating in 2000, but he was a team captain and later returned as an assistant coach after graduating from Framingham State.
“Coach McVeigh had a big influence on me and my basketball career,” said Tanglis. “I had a great relationship with Coach. I also had him in class. ... I always appreciated the way he treated his players and showed them how much cared about them as people. That’s something he taught me.”
While Tanglis didn’t win any league titles at Stoneham High as head coach (11-9 this past winter and 10-10 in 2011-12), his work was considered impressive considering the program hadn’t won more than four games since 1997.
After graduating from Framingham State in 2005, where he was a captain his senior year, he coached a year at Plymouth State, then a year at North Andover High followed by three years at Medford High.
He does admit to keeping an eye on his alma mater, knowing Coach McVeigh was near the end of his storied career.
“Sure, it was always on my radar and has been my dream job since I got into coaching,” said Tanglis. “The funny thing was I found out coach was leaving when everyone else did, at the Tsongas Arena, after the Brighton (High) game.”
Tanglis, who resides in Medford, teaches seventh grade math in Everett. He would be interested in working in North Andover if a position opened up.
Tanglis is still pinching himself about his prospects as a basketball coach at his high profile alma mater.
“This job has everything you want. It has the community. It has the facilities. It has the Youth Center, which has been a great place in developing kids in town. And you have the Merrimack Valley Conference, which is probably the best conference in the state. I am so excited to get going.”
Tanglis also said that his old bedroom at his parents’ home is still available, in case there are some late nights.
“Yes, the bedroom is still there if I need it,” said Tanglis. “It’s nice to be coming home.”