There will be a number of new faces in new places on the hardwood this winter so let’s get caught up to date.
On the boys side, Good Counsel, Clarksburg and Rockville will boast new head basketball coaches on the varsity level.
G.J. Kissal accepted the job at his alma mater Good Counsel after spending the past four seasons at Clarksburg.
During his tenure at Clarksburg, Kissal guided the Coyotes to a 60-39 record and helped the program reach new heights. Clarksburg finished the 2015-16 campaign at 17-9 including an appearance in the Maryland 4A West region championship game.
Kissal will be replaced by Rockville head coach Steve Watson who also replaced Kissal at Rockville in 2012 when the Good Counsel alum moved over to Clarksburg. Watson was once the Rockville junior varsity head coach and accepted the head job at Seneca Valley four years ago but had a change of heart when the Rockville varsity job opened up due to Kissal’s departure to Clarksburg.
Rockville has named Magruder assistant Todd Dembroski as the Rams’ new head coach.
Dembroski, who stems from the Dan Harwood coaching tree, inherits a Rockville program that won just five games last season.
Meanwhile, on the girls side, no fewer than five county teams will boast new head coaches next season.
Springbrook, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Blair and Bullis have all made new hires.
Former University of Virginia basketball star Lynette O’Reggio is the new head coach at Springbrook. O’Reggio, a Prince George’s County native, replaces Russell Davis at the Silver Spring public school.
John Witherspoon, a former Bethesda-Chevy Chase boys assistant, is the new head coach at Holy Cross. He replaces Bob Cox who parted ways after two seasons at the helm.
In 2014, Cox and Hayley Hollis were hired at Holy Cross and Bullis, respectively. Cox and Hollis both stem from the Tom Splaine coaching tree at Good Counsel.
This winter, Hollis will take over the girls basketball program at Blair while former Blair head coach Carlos Smith will return to Kennedy, a program he once guided earlier during his coaching career in Montgomery County. Ironically, Hollis and Smith are both Good Counsel graduates.
Former Stone Ridge head coach Amy Duran Heinzelmann will replace Hollis at Bullis.
Heinzelmann takes over a Bullis program that finished the 2015-16 campaign with an overall 21-7 record including an 11-3 mark in the Independent School League.
Prior to her coaching career, Heinzelmann, a Stone Ridge graduate, played four years in college and was voted a captain on the top-ranked UConn women’s basketball team. After graduating from UConn in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education/Psychology, she spent a year playing overseas in the France Professional League.