Photo by Jeff Vorva
Jim Maley, crouched next to the scorer’s table, resigned as St. Laurence’s boys basketball coach for another job and Jim Sexton (seated on the last chair on the right) will take over.
Jim Malay has big shoes to fill. So does Jim Sexton.
Maley stepped down as St. Laurence boys basketball coach last week to reportedly accept the job at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates and was immediately replaced by his assistant coach Sexton, the school announced Friday.
Maley will take over for retiring Tom McCormack, who coached at Conant for 31 years, won 573 games and 13 regional titles. Maley coached the Vikings three years and posted a 40-50 record. While that record won’t get him into any Halls of Fame, he provided a three-year spark after the program went 51-137 the previous seven years. He will also miss a chance to coach one of the strongest sophomore classes at the school in recent memory.
"This is a very bittersweet moment for me,” said Maley. “I absolutely love St. Laurence, my players, my students and the people I work with. While I'm excited for the next opportunity, I'm saddened to leave, however the program is in great hands.
“Hiring Jimmy as an assistant was one of the best moves I've made. His passion, knowledge, and basketball pedigree will make him an excellent head coach. I truly believe that he, the returning players and coaching staff, will take another step forward and become a force in the Catholic League. While I'm no longer the coach, I will be a huge fan of him, the program and the school."
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment in the Maley era was in 2016, when the 13th-seeded Vikings finished fourth in the Chicago Catholic League Tournament.
Sexton is a Brother Rice graduate and Evergreen Park native who earned the Regional/Reporter Player of the Year honor in 1993 and 1994. He played college basketball at Creighton University and was a member of the first-ever NCAA tournament team at UIC. In high school, he was a three-time All-Catholic League player and earned All-State honors his senior year.
He is the 10th boys basketball coach in St. Laurence history. He served as assistant varsity coach and director of player development on the Viking basketball staff for the past two seasons. Sexton co-founded Beyond The Arc Academy, a basketball club in Evergreen Park that coaches and trains more than 250 boys and girls grade school basketball players.
“I’m privileged to have the opportunity to work with a great administration, group of coaches and, most importantly, group of student-athletes at St. Laurence,” said Sexton. “I truly appreciate the faith President Joe Martinez, Principal Jim Muting and Athletic Director Tim Chandler have in me to continue to move St. Laurence basketball into prominence, not only in the Catholic League, but in the state of Illinois. I would also like to thank coach Maley for putting the program in a positive place in which we can continue to build.”
“Viking Basketball has come a long way in recent seasons, and we are excited for coach Sexton to take us to the next level,” said Chandler. “With coach Sexton, we will be able to provide continuity with the program that will allow us to have a seamless transition. We thank coach Maley for putting the team on the right track the past three seasons and wish him the best in the future.”
Current fifth through seventh grade boys can meet Sexton at a free basketball clinic from 930 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Students can sign up at www.stlaurence.com/clinics. For any questions about the clinic, contact Director of Admissions Joe Spano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the second area boys coach to resign. Earlier, longtime Stagg coach John Daniels left to spend more time with his family and his position has not been filled yet.