Boys Basketball: Richards coach John Chappetto stepping down
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org February 28, 2014 12:08PM
Richards' head coach John Chappetto (Left) and Eisenhower's head coach Mike Curta (Right) chat before the game in Oak Lawn Friday, February, 28, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media
JOHN CHAPPETTO AT RICHARDS
2007-08: 30-4, Class 4A state champs
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Updated: February 28, 2014 11:39PM
Life slows down for no one.
John Chappetto was realizing this more than ever, which is why on Monday he informed his team and Richards athletic director Ken Styler that he was resigning, effective at the end of the season.
The news formally was announced Friday.
“It’s a sad day,” Chappetto, fighting back tears, said Friday night. “I feel like I need a break from coaching high school basketball. It controls your life. I’m sitting at Christmas dinner at 5 p.m. with my family and I’m thinking about the game the next day. I’m at a point where I want to take control of my life.”
It wasn’t a specific player, team, parent or incident that led Chappetto to come to this conclusion. He’s considered retiring the past few years.
But it was this season, his 12th as coach at Richards and 21st overall, that made him come to the conclusion it was time.
“People don’t realize what we deal with on a daily basis,” Chappetto, 43, said. “Something is always there. You can’t ever get away from your team to focus on family and friends.”
With his two boys, Charlie, 12, and Louie, 8, becoming more active in sports, Chappetto didn’t want to look back years from now regretting not having spent time sharing in their memories.
“I’m running around crazy every Saturday between basketball and their interests,” said Chappetto, 219-114 in his career. “I don’t want to say when they’re adults that I missed those memories.”
Chappetto put the Bulldogs boys hoops program on the map in 2008, winning the Class 4A state championship. The Bulldogs earned their ninth consecutive conference championship Friday, downing Eisenhower 108-87.
“The guy is a hall of fame coach at 43,” Eisenhower coach Mike Curta said. “He loves watching his young kids. Winning nine titles in a row is pretty tough. He’s had a great run of success.”
Richards senior Josh Meier wasn’t surprised at his coach’s resignation — just that he thought it would happen a year or two from now.
“I’m shocked it was this year,” said Meier, who scored a career-high 47 points Friday. “But being able to send him out with a win (Friday) the last time he’s going to coach in this gym is probably the sweetest win of my career.”
Chappetto wouldn’t rule out coaching again. He will take the next year off and evaluate things.
“I’m going to miss a lot of things,” he said. “But I’m ready to make a change in my life.”