Southern Regional’s Bucci Removed From Girls Basketball Head Coaching Position

Tough TIME: Two months into his eighth year as head mentor of the Southern Regional girls basketball plan, which he took around for famous coach Kathy Snyder in 2014, Tom Bucci was taken off from the placement. (Pictures by David Biggy)
Amid drastically slipping quantities of gamers inside of the total software for the duration of the past week, Southern Regional girls basketball head mentor Tom Bucci was removed from his place on Friday, stated Athletic Director Chuck Donohue Jr. on Saturday, Dec. 4.
“Our quantities had been faltering, rapid, and the system was drowning,” Donohue mentioned. “I’m dependable for the athletic packages in this article, and it is my task to make positive we have groups and good quantities of athletes participating, and I couldn’t keep allowing for this to go on. I felt we wanted to make a modify and shift the program in a various direction.”
In accordance to Donohue, the ladies basketball application experienced shed practically 50 % of its players for various motives – none of which had been thanks to any misconduct by Bucci or connected to accidents – considering that Monday, Nov. 29. When the system commenced practices the week of Thanksgiving, it experienced 27 girls, and this calendar year the expectation was to industry varsity, junior varsity and freshman squads. Typically, the varsity team has 12 to 14 players for each season.
“The other day at follow (Thursday), they experienced 14 women and two ended up sitting out,” Donohue stated. “From the place they commenced to in which they were being on Thursday just wasn’t acceptable. Women were leaving the program, and who appreciates how several have been likely to be left by the time the period begun? Something experienced to change.”
Donohue Jr. contacted Superintendent Craig Henry later on Thursday to established up a assembly for Friday to focus on the dire condition. Henry explained he presently experienced prepared to chat to Donohue when he was in the gymnasium Thursday afternoon and discovered the paltry quantity of players at follow.
“I believed it was awkward to see only that several girls,” Henry said. “So I experienced it in the back again of head to access out to Chuck to uncover out what was likely on. It turned out he referred to as me and wanted to meet Friday early morning.”
As of Friday, the system did not have a freshman team and was getting closer towards struggling to field a viable junior varsity squad, according to the administrators. The year is scheduled to begin Friday, Dec. 17 on the street at Jackson Memorial.
The discussions involving Donohue and Bucci yielded no resolution to the problem, and it was requested that Bucci resign, which he refused to do, Henry said. Donohue then made the determination to get rid of Bucci from his publish.
“This was not a pleasurable or easy factor to do,” Donohue said. “But we’re a Team IV university, and we feel it is in our school’s very best interest to industry 3 teams in the method, and if we hardly have enough to have varsity and JV groups, and there is the chance of more ladies leaving, finding wounded or having quarantined, it’s just not a good condition.
Difficult ENDING: Next an exodus of about a dozen gamers through the earlier week, Tom Bucci was removed as the Southern Regional girls basketball team’’s head coach.
“To compete in our division and acquire the system to its optimum probable, we will need gamers in the method. And if you get rid of that quite a few gamers in a 7 days, it does not place the program in a great placement to be aggressive. A different path was required.”
Henry contacted the board of schooling to notify it of the circumstance, and it was agreed the situation warranted Bucci’s removing. Donohue educated Bucci of the choice later on Friday.
“In most situations, we would have taken a tiny a lot more time to attempt to appear up with a option, and it is a extremely unlucky circumstance that played out far too quickly,” Henry reported. “But with the numbers as they ended up, and slipping, I’m in whole assist of Chuck’s conclusion. I never imagine a lot can be argued about this. You can not run and develop a respectable method when your freshman plan has folded up and you only have 15 or so athletes to include what need to be 3 stages. That is not providing the application its finest opportunity to be as competitive as possible.”
Bucci reported he’s heartbroken by the selection to take away him as head mentor, which he took on when Kathy Snyder passed absent Jan. 24, 2014, and was saved in place by the university board right after the 2013-14 season.
“To say the activities that have transpired in the past 48 hours are shockingly devastating is an understatement,” Bucci said. “Although I’m dissatisfied in the option that was created and the deficiency of opportunity or system to solution any difficulties, I know I have completed matters the appropriate way, in no way compromising my integrity and usually preserving the finest pursuits of the women at the forefront.
“The last 8 a long time as the varsity coach afforded me some of the most effective memories, and that is what I will cherish. The outpouring of assistance and really like by recent and former players and their households, as well as my colleagues, has been too much to handle, and it means so considerably to my family and me.”
Henry stated Bucci’s removal does not acquire away from everything he’s accomplished with the method.
“I have the greatest regard for Tom and the financial commitment he’s built in the program since Kathy’s passing,” the superintendent stated. “He took over the system at a extremely hard time for this district, and he’s performed a ton of excellent things for the women who’ve appear by way of it considering that then. He’s a passionate mentor and wears his heart on his sleeve, there’s no doubt. I hope and pray that he can mend from this damage and try out to see it from our viewpoint at the administration stage. The system was floundering, and when the figures deplete as considerably as they did, something’s completely wrong and some thing has to change.”
Jenna Lombardo-Adams, the varsity subject hockey coach who till Friday was the middle school’s ladies basketball mentor, was repositioned to exchange Bucci. Victoria Caiazzo, a person of Bucci’s assistants, will keep on being in an assistant posture, and Sean Sweeney will switch Keith Cocuzza as yet another varsity assistant, Henry mentioned. Cocuzza resigned from his assistant position upon Bucci’s removing.
“Jenna appreciates most of these ladies because she’s coached them in center university or with the discipline hockey system,” Henry stated. “This is not an uncomplicated situation for her to wander into, but we’re specified she will do what she can to shift things in a better path.”
— David Biggy

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