Dan Gill, who has been the athletic director at St. Mary's for the last five years and basketball coach for the last four, is leaving the private school located in his hometown of Lancaster for an administrative position with the University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Gill will be an associate athletic director at the school, which is an extension of Nova Southeastern University (thus the "University" name of the high school).
Gill said he has discussed coaching with the University School and that it is a possibility for the upcoming basketball season; however, he said right now he be only joining the University School on the administrative side as he gets familiar with the program.
Regardless of when is able to coach, the move is a great one for Gill, 29, who has aspirations of coaching in NCAA Division I basketball. While a student at Ohio State, he was a student assistant for Jim O'Brien's coaching staff.
The Fort Lauderdale area is one of the most fertile for high school sports, and the University School is -- like many in the Sunshine State -- loaded with top-notch facilities and its programs are built around year-round training.
Leading St. Mary's boys basketball program, Gill helped the Lancers to great success. He had a record of 72-39 over four years while playing some of the best programs in Western New York as part of the Monsignor Martin Association, while he also put together one of the area's tougher nonleague schedules.
St. Mary's notched wins over St. Joe's, Canisius and Bishop Timon-St. Jude throughout his tenure. The Lancers were the Monsignor Martin Association's Class B state Catholic playoff representative all four of Gill's years, which included a trip to the state Federation championship game in Gill's first season, 2008-09.
In that first season, Gill's team went 17-11 -- one year after the Lancers were 3-20 -- and finished fifth in The News small school poll. In 2009-10, the Lancers went 18-10 and were No. 4; in 2010-11, St. Mary's went 17-10 and were No. 5.
This past year, St. Mary's beat St. Joe's in the Monsignor Martin's Manhattan Cup semifinals to advance to the school's first-ever Manhattan Cup championship. The Lancers went 20-8 and finished third in the small school poll (they were second on my ballot).
I'll have more on Gill's move and how it will affect St. Mary's in a Prep Talk column in Friday's paper.
buffalonews.com/highschool facebook.com/preptalkblog twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk