The Monsignor Martin Association lost one of its more colorful girls basketball coaches following the recent resignation of Jake Herlihy. The Nardin Gators' coach for the past 12 years stepped down, citing health reasons.
Herlihy, 61, had quintuple heart bypass surgery in April. He went into the season hoping he could finish, but three games in, it was apparent he couldn't. He was as verbal and animated as ever in a recent loss to Nichols, but confided to his wife afterward, "I'm getting too old for this. I just felt like I couldn't do this 20 more times."
Herlihy ends his career 219-93, having won the Monsignor Martin Association playoff title in 2000, 2005 and the New York State Class C crown in 2007. Jackie D'Orazio, a member of that 2000 championship team, was quickly named Herlihy's successor. She had been as assistant the past two years.
"It's just too much for him. For him to change the way he coaches ... he really gets into the games ... he couldn't do it," said Athletics Director Mo Sheehan. "It was his decision. He's going to be missed. His daughter [Erin] had a baby [on June 28]. I think he wants to enjoy his grandchild."
Herlihy said he's comfortable with his decision. He said sometimes the best decisions aren't always the easiest. He said he likely won't go to another game until the MMA playoffs in March.
So what happens to his signatrue Gator green sport coat he wore for big games? Maybe I'll give it to [Holy Angels' coach] Fran [Snyder] mand he can wear it on St. Patrick's Day ..."
---Mary Jo Monnin
taggedMonsignor Martin Association | Nardin