Riverside native Mike Bartee attended local schools, playing basketball for North High School and graduating in 1967. As the leading scorer on the team, Mike was North’s first athlete to be named to the All-Ivy League 1st team. While attending Riverside City College and California Baptist College, he continued playing basketball and then earned a secondary teaching credential from UC Riverside. In 1973 Mike returned to North to serve under Coach Gene Hughes, first as the freshman and then as the JV boys’ basketball coach before accepting his first teaching position at Perris Valley Junior High School.
In 1978 as varsity assistant coach, Mike helped lead the Perris High Panthers to the CIF Class A Championship and in 1980 he was hired as Perris High head coach. In 1982 he was named the Sunkist League Coach of the year before returning to his alma mater, North High School, to succeed Gene Hughes as head basketball coach. During Mike’s 26-year tenure, North’s Huskies became a perennial basketball power. His teams accumulated 15 Ivy League titles, advanced to the CIF playoffs in 25 of 26 years, earned seven trips to the CIF title game—including six consecutive appearances in 1991-1996, qualified for the state playoffs seven times and won nine Riverside County Rain Cross Championships. In 1994, led by former USC and NFL standout Chris Claiborne, the Huskies reached the Southern California Regional Championship game. Mike was named Ivy League Coach of the Year 13 times, Riverside Country Coach of the Year five times, and the Los Angeles Times/Inland Empire Coach of the Year for 1992-1993.
Coach Mike Bartee retired this year after nearly three decades of coaching. He will continue as assistant principal of discipline at North High School.