Despite the fact that the men's basketball head coaching job at Moraine Valley Community College is a part-time position, athletic director Bill Finn was amazed at the level of coaches who applied for the open job.
But the candidate who was chosen by Finn and search committee as the program’s new head coach possessed one quality – full-time availability – that set himself apart from the others.
Moraine Valley named long-time community college head coach Tony Amarino as its new head coach this past week. Amarino spent 15 years as the head coach at Morton College and more recently seven years at Harper College before retiring in 2014.
“Tony will help navigate the academic and athletic part as well as the recruiting to the four-year school,” Finn said. “We’re think we have the best of all worlds in our hiring of Tony. He’s a great gentleman and a competitive coach with proven success. There’s a buzz around the school. We’re moving ahead.
“I was shocked at the high level of coaches who applied,” Finn added. “Any of the four finalists could have done an amazing job in this position. It was extremely hard decision for us as committee; we couldn’t have gone wrong with any of the candidates.’’
Amarino, who replaced David Howard, said he applied for the Moraine Valley position after a time of rediscovering that his interest in coaching had not waned after two years off.
“I started to get the itch again when I went to games this winter,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to get back into it. If I didn’t have 100 percent desire, I wouldn’t get back into coaching. Luckily, the job opened up and I was chosen.
“This is a nice area to coach at. There’s about 15 high schools to draw from in the area to get kids from. I met with the team last week. They’re all freshman, about 10 or 11 of them, so this is already a good start before we get going.”
Coaching in the Skyway Conference is nothing new to Amarino, having led his teams to a pair of conference titles over 15 years at Morton and where he also coached against Finn.
“I’m excited because I know the league,” Amarino said. “The interview was good because Bill knew everything about me. Baseball and basketball were my inspiration during my high school years at St. Ignatius, but I especially loved the fast pace of basketball.”