St. Rita hockey coach Craig Ferguson announces retirement
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org September 10, 2012 8:24PM
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:10AM
Craig Ferguson, who has led St. Rita hockey to five consecutive Kennedy Cups and two state championships in the past three seasons, said Monday he will stop coaching after the 2012-13 season. He will, however, remain at the school as the director of admissions.
“There’s not any one specific reason other than it’s a long season and there are other things I want to do with my life,” Ferguson said. “With my job at the school and the time commitment, it’s just the right time to do this.”
St. Rita already has tabbed Ferguson’s successor. Brian Coleman, a 1999 graduate of the school, will join the varsity staff this season after spending two years at the junior varsity level.
“It’s an honor and I’m extremely excited about the opportunity,” said Coleman, 30, a medical sales representative. “To be able to come back to my alma mater and be the varsity coach is an unreal opportunity. To take over a program in this situation is pretty unique and rare.”
Like Coleman, Ferguson began his coaching career at his alma mater — in his case, Mount Carmel.
Ferguson, a 1979 graduate, led the Caravan to four straight Kennedy Cups and a second-place finish in state. He resigned after the 2000 season before taking over at St. Rita in 2004.
It was a move that stunned the local prep hockey world.
“Not too many people switch from brown and white (Mount Carmel) to red and white (St. Rita),” Ferguson said. “Some nasty emails were going around. But the administration welcomed me with open arms. It was personally the best move I’ve ever made.”
St. Rita athletic director Mike Zunica acknowledged that Ferguson’s retirement is significant, but is confident Coleman is the right man to fill the post.
“It’s always sad when you see a legend announce that this it,” Zunica said. “As a huge hockey fan and huge Craig Ferguson fan, some of my best times I’ve had have been watching St. Rita win Kennedy Cups and state championships. We look forward to the next chapter of St. Rita hockey, but we’ll always be incredibly grateful for what Craig has done for this program and our school.
“We look forward to Brian’s determination in maintaining and growing the incredible tradition of St. Rita hockey.”