ALTON - Marquette Catholic High School Boys Basketball Head Coach Steve Medford has informed the school of his decision to step down after 12 seasons leading the Explorers.
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“I love Marquette and have had an amazing experience there. But my boys are 10, 9, and 7. As they get more involved in their own activities I want to be there and not look back with regret that I wasn’t there for as many moments in their life as possible," said Medford.
“I’m young. I could coach again, maybe once the boys are older.”
Under Medford’s leadership, the Marquette program has flourished. In 12 seasons Medford’s teams won a remarkable 76 percent of their games, often against much larger schools, with a record of 276-85, including 9 twenty-win seasons and 6 seasons with 25 or more wins.
The Explorers won 8 IHSA Regional Championships in that time, 8 conference championships, 16 holiday tournament championships and the 2017 IHSA Sectional Championship.
In the 2017-2018 season, the boys completed an undefeated season, going 28-0. Medford was named the District 19 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Coach of the Year seven times.
"We had some success. I was fortunate to have great players who worked very hard and bought into the culture we wanted to create," said Medford.
In one stretch over three years, from 2016-2018, the Explorers were 89-9.
“We had some memorable wins including the one against Alton High in 2013 at the Jersey Tournament. The student section was so into it and the game was back and forth. It was a great atmosphere,” said Medford.
The Explorers were also tough to beat at home, with a record of 80-11 at Marquette Catholic. In one eight-year stretch, the Explorers were 59-4 at home.
"We were so fortunate to have strong support from our Blue Crew. We usually had more fans at away games than the home team, but playing at home was certainly something we took pride in."
“We want to thank Steve for his years of dedication to our program. His commitment has been unwavering. As someone with young kids myself, I respect and understand his decision,” said Marquette Athletic DirectorBrian Hoener.
“He has certainly set a standard for success. He’s a future Hall of Fame Coach. We have high expectations for our athletic programs at Marquette Catholic and are actively searching for a candidate who can continue to meet those expectations in the boys' basketball program.”