Jason Hitt produced winning seasons as the Elliot Christian High boys basketball head coach in recent years.

He also tasted life in working for two NBA teams. Hitt was a hit with a San Joaquin County high school girls basketball program.

Now he’s ready for his next and biggest challenge.

On Sunday night, Hitt confirmed that he is the new Manteca High boys basketball head coach. Hitt was one of three people who interviewed for the job toward the end of last week, according to Manteca High Athletic Director Bill Slikker.

Hitt, who teaches physical education at Bear Creek High that is part of the Lodi Unified School District, takes over for Brett Lewis, who was named the new Weston Ranch High athletic director over the summer. Weston Ranch, of Stockton, is part of the Manteca Unified School District.

“Brett did a great job when he was at Manteca,” said Hitt of Lewis. “He’s built a winning tradition there, and you know, they expect nothing short of that.”

Last winter, Manteca posted a 21-11 record and finished third in the Valley Oak League. The Buffalo earned a Sac-Joaquin Section and California Interscholastic Federation NorCal playoff berths. The 2015-16 Manteca High boys basketball team won the CIF State title.

This upcoming season, the same style that Hitt used at Elliot Christian will be implemented at Manteca High.

“I think we have the personnel for that,” Hitt said. “Play fast (and) press.”

Slikker added, “His up tempo style offense and attention to detail is what really stood out for us.”

Hitt was a student-teacher for Slikker at Weston Ranch in the mid-2000s.

“He is a high energy guy who studies the game and relates well with the student-athletes,” Slikker said. “He had some on-the-job interim experience for us during the summer with the boys, and we liked what we saw.”

Manteca, which has an enrollment of 1,686 students per the section’s website, is very well-rounded with success in its athletic programs. The Buffaloes’ football, volleyball, boys basketball, baseball and softball teams have won many league and section titles, and have produced deep playoff runs for the last four decades.

Hitt served as the Elliot Christian High boys basketball head coach from 2014-15 to the 2017-18 seasons. During that time, he produced a 95-28 overall record.

In the spring of 2018, Hitt stepped down as both coach and the school’s athletic director. He had already left Elliot prior to the start of the school year to start teaching at Bear Creek, which is part of the Lodi Unified School District.

The 2016-17 Elliot Christian squad won the Central California Athletic Association and the section’s Division V titles. In the CIF NorCal title game, St. Francis of Watsonville grounded the Eagles’ shot of playing for a state title.

Before arriving at Elliot, Hitt worked for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets’ organizations for a combined four seasons. Part of his duties included running youth basketball programs for each NBA team.

As the Linden High girls basketball from the 2006-07 to the 2010-11 seasons, Hitt had a 109-39-1 overall record. That included winning Mother Lode League crowns and deep playoff runs in the section and CIF. Before landing a teaching and coaching gigs at Linden, Hitt was an assistant coach in the Delta College men’s basketball program.

Contact Mike Bush at mikeb@lodinews.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.

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