Subscribe Now!
GannettUSA Today

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Billett - CBA the only high school job he would have considered/The full story for Thursday Press

(coming later - Billet on how he hopes to help Monmouth recruit more CBA players)......




By TONY GRAHAM
STAFF WRITER

You rarely find a big time college men's assistant basketball coach leaving the ranks for
a high school job.

Even if it is a head coaching position at prestigious scholastic program and an alma
mater.

Well, you do now.

""This is the only high school job I would have ever considered once I got into college
coaching,'' said Geoff Billet Wednesday after ending summer long speculation by confirming he
has left Seton Hall University to succeed Ed Wicelinski as head coach at Christian Brothers
Academy.

Wicelinski resigned in April after leading CBA to 625 victories since 1980-81, believed to
be the highest victory total ever at one Shore Conference high school.

""CBA is a very, very, special place to me and pretty much for anyone who's ever gone
there,'' said Billet, an All-State performer for CBA when it won its third NJSIAA Parochial A
crown (now called Non-Public A) under Wicelinski in 1995.

He went on to become an all-time top 10 scorer at Rutgers racking up 1,480 career points.
He also coached one year for the Scarlet Knights and for five years served as an assistant to
Dave Calloway at Monmouth University which included NCAA Tournament berths in 2004 and 2006.

Last season he joined the staff of first year Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez and is
credited with securing recent verbal commitments for 2008-2009 from Paterson Catholic point
guard Jordan Theodore and seven-foot junior college player Charles Okwandu.

Wicelinski termed Billet's decision to leave a major college situation for a high school
position ""extremely unusual.'' ""Nothing I've ever seen before, an interesting move, one I'm
sure he struggled with,'' Wicelinski said.

Billet said the success he envisions for Seton Hall under Gonzalez made for a difficult
choice.

""That made the decision even harder than it would have bene under most circumstances,''
said Billet.

Wicelinski said CBA's search had narrowed to Billet, freshman coach Mike Wheeler, and
junior varsity coach Chris Kane.

""I thought it was a very unusual position for CBA where they had a choice of what I
think are three can't miss type of candidates,'' said the former coach.

Billet steps into big shoes following Wicelinski who was preceded by Vinnie Cox who
also enjoyed tremendous success.

Under Wicelinski CBA won 14 Shore Conference Tournaments, appeared in 20 of 25
championship games, and captured nine NJSIAA South Jersey A sectional titles.
""I definitely have high, high, standards to live up to,'' said Billet. ""If there's one
thing that's always attracted me to high school it was being able to help influence kids at an
age where I think you can have a great impact off the court and on the court.''

On the court Billet will begin with a team that returns its two top scorers. Rising
senior guard Mike Kuhn and rising junior forward Brian Neller helped lead a 23-8 CBA club that
fell in the 2007 Shore Conference and NJSIAA Non-Public A finals.

Wicelinski said the 2006-2007 junior varsity Colts lost one game and the freshman were
undefeated.

Billet said any other role he may have at CBA besides coaching basketball has yet to be
determined.

Billet's younger brother Todd, who played at CBA and then for Rutgers and the University of
Virginia, is the current head coach at Morris Catholic High School.

e-mail tonygsports@aol.com.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home