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Saturday, May 17, 2008

From Wilbur Guilford?

The events leading up to Jim Reynolds' resignation at Wilbur Cross to taking the job at Guilford was both intriguing and surprising, but not a complete shock. The boys' basketball jobs at both Wilbur Cross and Hillhouse are among the most prestigious ones of any high school athletic programs in the state, period. With that comes a huge amount of pressure to succeed.
Reynolds did, to the tune of 254 victories, six Southern Connecticut Conference championships and one state championship game appearance. To say he did not win enough would be ludicrous. But when your rival wins consecutive state championships, that only upped the ante for Reynolds to win a state title, too.
Once they beat Hillhouse to become No. 1 last January, I felt it was time for Cross to win that elusive first state title under Reynolds. I stand by that comment. As great as the season was, the loss to Lyman Hall in the Class L state quarterfinals was likely the most disapointing one of Reynolds' tenure.
It appears that upset was going to lead to some changes. If the persistent rumors are true that Reynolds would have had to replace all of his assistant coaches to stay on for a 15th year, then he has a heck of a lot of integrity. He was loyal to the men who helped him achieve success. How many of you would have done the same thing?
The powers-that-be have every right to ask for and expect changes. But there is enough aggravation that comes with such a high-profile job that Reynolds apparently didn't need anyone dictating to him what was best for the Wilbur Cross program. This won't be the last time this happens to a coach in New Haven, either.
How will he do at Guilford? The team will qualify for the state tournament and finish over .500. But remember, Guilford is in the same division as Hillhouse and although those games might be competitive from time to time, Hillhouse will remain the heavy favorite until further notice.

Check back in another month to see if there are any further developments on who will replace Reynolds at Cross. I'd be very surprised if anything happened before July. When Tom Fleming resigned at Hillhouse in 2003, it took until July for Kermit Carolina to be appointed his successor.

Feel free to post your thoughts about Reynolds leaving Wilbur Cross after 14 years.


Anonymous Fat Tony said...

I'm stunned.

The guy has two perfect regular seasons, owned Hillhouse and the SCC this season and a tremendous overall winning record and he is forced out. Is this a bad joke?

The New Haven athletics gurus better be careful who they pick. Remember, Cross is one of the worst academic schools in the state, so putting together a program that attains success every season is no easy task.

Reynolds leaves Cross in much better shape than when he took over. Good luck to the next guy.

May 17, 2008 at 6:32 PM 

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