By Jeremy Balan
Ever since John DeBenedetti resigned from the boys basketball coaching position at St. Ignatius in early April, rumors and speculation swirled regarding who would be the successor.
Nearly two months later, the Wildcats will turn to a proven commodity.
On Tuesday, in an email to all faculty and students, St. Ignatius athletic director Robert Vergara announced that Tim Reardon will take over the reigns of the program next season.
Reardon was the head coach in the five seasons prior to DeBenedetti’s three-year tenure, and won a West Catholic Athletic League title and two Central Coast Section championships in that span.
Prior to his time with the boys basketball team, Reardon coached the St. Ignatius girls team for four seasons, also winning a CCS title.
“Tim’s teams have won a total of  championships in his 20 years at St. Ignatius, but above and beyond that success, Tim has taught his players to embrace the values on which our athletic program is based,” Vergara said in the email. “Tim lives all those values, and I know that, with him at the helm, our boys basketball program will continue to be in good hands.”
Reardon left the varsity post after the 2008 season, mostly due to a desire to enter an administrative role at the school.
“It was nine years of coaching varsity and it was a grind,” Reardon said. “I saw myself going in the administration [direction], but when those jobs kept coming up year after year, and I was seeing the job descriptions, I figured I’d stick with coaching.”
Although Reardon admitted he waited until assistant Rob Marcaletti was no longer a candidate for the position, he is excited about the potential of the varsity squad and the program. Marcaletti was also a candidate for the job, but has taken the position as St. Ignatius’ associate athletic director, which removed him from consideration.
“To know that I’ll be able to take a team next year that beat Sacred Heart [Cathedral], Mitty and Bellarmine last season is pretty exciting,” Reardon said.
In the past two seasons, Reardon has coached one of St. Ignatius’ freshman teams, and the talent he saw also impacted his decision to return to the varsity level.
“They’ve been a great group of kids,” Reardon said. “There are a couple of really good players and they really get along well, which is key. Sometimes you can have the talent, but if you don’t have the [chemistry], it can be difficult.”
The Wildcats will return eight players from a team that went 17-10 last season, but the most glaring loss will be leading scorer Johnny Mrlik. Still, Reardon wants his focus to be on the program as a whole, all the way to the freshman level.
“It’s hard to watch a guy like Johnny Mrlik go, but I’ve seen at times, when a great scorer leaves, you find out there are a lot of guys there who can do a lot of good things,” Reardon said. “One of our goals is to keep it going, not to have any down years, and get a system going that starts at the freshman level.”
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