Dacula athletic director DeRick Dunnigan still has a lot of work to do filling the school's four head coaching openings that came up this spring.
But he hasn't had to look far to fill two of those vacancies. As was the case with boys cross country and girls track position, Dunnigan has found his new boys basketball coach already on staff in the form of current assistant Russ Triaga.
"A lot of people did apply, but (Triaga) is a good choice," Dunnigan said. "The fact he's here is a good thing for us. He knows the kids. He knows what he's inheriting.
"And they know him. It's not like anybody will have to start over."
The 45-year-old has spent the last three years on the staff of former coach B.J. Roy, who stepped down about two weeks ago to take an assistant job at Central Gwinnett, and is no stranger to either Gwinnett County basketball or the head coaching ranks.
Triaga was an assistant at Berkmar for three seasons, including the 1999-2000 season, when the Patriots won the first of two state championships under David Boyd, who recently guided Milton to this year's Class AAAAA state title.
He then went on to coach nine years as a head coach -- three North Oconee, where he guided the Warriors to its first state tournament berth as a AAAA school in 2002, and six more at Chestatee, where he led the War Eagles to two state appearances.
He came to Dacula three years ago to be closer to the home he shares with his wife, Kerri, and two children, but was intrigued about the possibility about becoming a head coach again when the opportunity arose.
And the fact he is familiar with the Falcons players, including two returning starters from a team that earned its first state tournament berth in four years, made it all the more intriguing.
"When I came to Dacula, it was a great situation for my family. I was able to coach, but without the time constraints that helped me be with my wife and two young kids more," Triaga said. "It was a good break for me, but I'm looking forward to (being a head coach again). It's a unique situation.
"I've got a really good relationship with the two returning starters (rising juniors Brandon Goodson and Jaylen Williams). Now they know what to expect from me, and that sets up well with the younger players. And we've got a tremendous amount of talent coming in the next few years."