The only varsity boys basketball coach in John Paul II’s brief history is stepping down.
Stacy Benedik informed the team of his resignation after four years at the school, JPII athletics director Matt Dakolios said Tuesday.
Benedik cited personal health issues and a desire to spend more time with family as the primary reasons for the decision. He and his wife have a young son, James, and are expecting a grandson.
“It was just time,” Benedik said. “Maybe in the future, James will be a little older and I will have the time to do it the right way, but I just didn’t feel like I did my best job this year, and the kids and the school deserve better than that.”
Benedik took over the program in 2014-15 and coached a junior varsity team before JPII transitioned to fielding a varsity program. After going 4-17 in their inaugural varsity season, the Golden Warriors were 18-9 in 2016-17. Benedik took on a stronger schedule this season and JPII went 13-13 and earned its first SCISA playoff appearance.
“The school would certainly love to thank Stacy and his family for their love and dedication to all JPII students and teams,” Dakolios said. “Certainly, we are so thankful for what he has done to grow basketball at John Paul II, as our first varsity boys coach, and his imprint of work ethic, defense, and character will leave a lasting impression.”
Dakolios said the school will immediately begin a coaching search and will consider applications from teachers seeking full-time employment at the school as well as those seeking to only coach.
The Golden Warriors’ next coach will inherit a team that is poised to return two second-team All-Lowco selections in rising senior Rashad Battiste (17 ppg, 8.3 rig) sophomore Amere Cherry (18 ppg, 7 rpg) as well as a number of talented younger players.
“It was a really tough meeting with my boys this morning,” Benedik said. “Pretty emotional. I’m really going to miss being around them every day.”
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