SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- Jared Langel had chills when he stepped on the court at South Sioux High School at the Mini Dome last year.
For the South Sioux alum, it was his first time back on the court wearing Cardinal red. Langel, who spent six seasons as an assistant girls basketball coach at Sioux City West, returned to South Sioux as an assistant boys coach under Terry Comstock last season.
About a month ago, after a storied career at South Sioux, Comstock stepped down. Langel threw his name in the hat, hoping he would get a chance at the top spot for a program he used to play for.
On Tuesday, South Sioux made it official as Langel was introduced as the head boys basketball coach for the Cardinals.
"It's exciting. Being back at home, it's a big wave that hits you," Langel said. "It's home. When you go home, last November when I first stepped on the court, I saw the Cardinal again and being here for practice, it felt good. I will be all smiles. It's fun, it's basketball."
SSC Athletic Director Odell Santos said he is excited to have an alum as the next boys basketball coach.
"He's also someone that's passionate about the students and the drive to continue with the program, we are excited," Santos said. "He brings the integrity, the passion, the drive that I think our kids will feed off and continue to grow the program in the direction that is representative of South Sioux City."
Langel graduated before Comstock became the head coach. During Comstock's decade-plus tenure, the Cardinals won three state Class B titles (2010, 2011 and 2013) and were the runner-up in 2012. Comstock also led South Sioux to the state tournament in 2015.
Though Langel was only an assistant under Comstock for one season, he said he soaked in a good amount of knowledge from the successful SSC coach.
"He's full of knowledge, a great coach. I hate to see him go. We are going to take a lot of the foundation that he laid at South Sioux and will keep building on top of it," Langel said. "We aren't going to make huge changes. We are just going to keep grinding and building."
Santos said Langel's drive and passion are what set him apart from some of the other candidates for the job.
"He's a student of the game and he has a passion to empower and motivate our kids," Santos said. "He aligns well with our school motto of be kind, be respectful, be better every day. We are excited about that and so our kids."
The Cardinals went 8-14 last season and 6-17 in 2017-18. The last winning season for the Cardinals was back in 2014-15 when they went to the state tournament, losing in the first round to Omaha South.
Langel said the goal is to get the Cardinals back to where they were earlier this decade, which isn't easy considering the program will move to Class A and is in a competitive River City Conference. But Langel feels the program has the ability to compete at a high level.
"The conference we play in is one of the best in the state. We are going to compete," Langel said. "We are going to get in the weight room all year. We are moving up to Class A so we are going to have to run and gun. We have to get a lot of plates on the weights and develop our guys.
"The athletes in South Sioux are second to none. This facility is one of the best in the Midwest. Getting the youth program going will be key but we have all of the puzzle pieces there, it's just a matter of getting the pieces put together."
Santos said there was a lot of interest in the position as there is with the open girls basketball and baseball head spots at South Sioux.
"I think it's because of our community. We make sure that we go through thoroughly and visit with as many people as possible to get the best person for the job," Santos said. "That's what our kids deserve and that's what our kids are going to get."