BETHALTO - Lee Green, who enjoyed much success as girls basketball coach at Marquette Catholic, stepped down on Thursday as Explorers coach to accept the boys head coaching position at Civic Memorial starting in the 2022-23 season.

In a telephone interview, Green acknowledged it was a very tough decision to step down as Marquette coach, but is very eager to take on a new challenge.

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"Very tough," Green said. "It was one of the toughest things I've ever had to do in my coaching career. I was ready for a new challenge, I felt the time was right and it's a program (CM's boys) that's been elite before, and I'm ready to build it back up."

Green had a record of 114-51 at Marquette, last year going 27-7 and reaching the Class 2A Sweet Sixteen in the Waverly sectional final before losing to Quincy Notre Dame Catholic 54-45. Green talked to his Marquette players about his decision and were very understanding and supportive of it.

"They were really understanding," Green said. "They're all good kids. I can't put it any more than that, they're such good kids. I'm going to miss them a lot."

As to his successor with the Explorers, Green is pulling for his top assistant, Whitney Rogers, to get the job, but the school will be opening up the position in a search for a new coach.

As far as coaching boys and girls basketball, Green sees little difference between the two.

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"It's a little bit of a different skill set," Green said, "but I love coaching both boys and girls."

As far as the Eagles, Green's raring to go and sees some big potential with CM and its future.

"I'm super excited, absolutely," Green said. "They were really young last year, but there's a 6' 10" senior (Sam Buckley) who's really good."

The first order of business when Green gets to CM is to establish his style of play for the Eagles.

"Getting my style of play and getting the kids up to speed on how I like to play," Green said. "Up and down, fast-paced basketball. Good defense and setting up the offense as fast as possible."

Green very much enjoyed his time at Marquette and is eager to get things started at CM.

"Yes, I really enjoyed my time at Marquette," Green said. "It was awesome, but it's time for a new challenge. I'm looking forward to getting to CM and get things running."

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