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Two of Galena High's top coaches (Karen Friel and Annie DiLoreto) retire

Galena High
Two of{ }Galena High's top coaches retired Tuesday. (Handout)

Two of Northern Nevada's top coaches in their respective sports retired Tuesday.

Galena High boys basketball coach Karen Friel and Grizzlies' girls soccer coach Annie DiLoreto both stepped down after distinguished careers.

Friel was the head coach for Galena girls basketball from 1996-2012 before assuming the role of the boys basketball coach from 2018-20. She also was an assistant softball coach (1994-96) and boys basketball coach (2016-18) for the school. Friel won four league championships (2000, 2006, 2010, 2011), two regional titles (2001, 2006) and a state crown (2000) during her girls basketball coaching career. She coached the boys team to regional semifinalist showings in her final two years and was voted the area's coach of the year in 2018-19.

Northern Nevada didn't play high school basketball this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Coach Friel did an amazing job stepping in to coach the boys basketball team at Galena," Grizzlies athletic director Greg Sakelaris said. "She instantly garnered the respect of her players, parents, and the community. Her knowledge of the game and ability to communicate and share with her players was extraordinary. Coach Friel’s strength in managing her players, from the starting five to the last five, was second to none and very much appreciated."

DiLoreto was Galena's head girls soccer coach from 2010-14 and 2017-21. She was a girls basketball assistant under Friel for seven seasons. She was a six-time coach of the year in girls soccer and finished runner-up in state in 2018. She won four regional championships during her tenure and went 72-5-5 during her second tenure.

"We appreciate everything Coach Diloreto has accomplished at Galena High School as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach," Sakelaris said. "Coach set a high standard and expectation for all of her athletes, coaching staff, parents and community. Her team’s success and community service was unmatched."

DiLoreto, formerly Annie Baxter, starred in soccer and basketball at Galena before playing soccer for the Nevada Wolf Pack in the early 2000s. She also coached soccer at McQueen. She is making the transition into a new job.

"Galena High school athletics will always be part of my family," DiLoreto said. "My new journey includes being the principal of Little Flower Catholic School."

Both positions have been posted on the Washoe County School District jobs website. Interested applicants can apply online through WCSD or email Sakelaris at

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