When Dave Beebe took over as head coach of Rosary’s basketball program in 2000, he was inheriting a program that had one winning season in school history.
Over the next 12 years, Beebe piled up 195 wins and seven seasons over .500, winning a pair of regional titles and a conference title.
But Monday, after 17 total years coaching at the school — the first five as a freshman coach — Beebe was informed by Principal Sister Patricia Burke that his contract will not be renewed for the 2012-13 season.
A call to Rosary athletic director Mary Lou Kunold was not returned.
“It’s disappointing because just like that, 17 years is done,” Beebe said. “It’s done just like that. I have so many great memories of great kids and great parents and coaches. I’m taking the positives out of this whole thing, the memories of the good things we’ve done with the program.”
In the Royals’ heyday, they put together six consecutive winning seasons from 2004 through 2010. There were four 20-win seasons and consecutive regional titles in 2006-07 and 2007-08 mixed in. He also coached the lone Division I basketball player in Rosary history, Elyse Van Bogaert, who was Beebe’s varsity assistant this past season after wrapping up her college career at Loyola.
But in the past two years, the program hit a rough patch — winning 21 games — including a 9-18 mark this season. Those were the first losing seasons for the Royals since 2003-04.
“We had a game plan to straighten things out,” Beebe said. “She decided to let me go. I disagree, because our sophomores won the conference title, we only lost three seniors and the freshmen did well.”
Van Bogaert said Tuesday she will not return to coach in the program next season out of loyalty to her coach.
“I came back in large part for coach Beebe,” Van Bogaert said. “I would do anything for this school. I left Kaneland to come here, and we could have won a state title there, and I still hear about that. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was largely because of Beebe and (athletics director Mary Lou Kunold). With coach leaving, my loyalty lies with him. He was the face of the program and represented so many things for the school.”
Beebe said he had an inkling things weren’t going well late last week when he received a rare phone call from Burke. He then went in to meet with her Monday and was informed of the school’s decision in a brief meeting.
Now Beebe has his options open for the future after putting together a 195-135 mark at Rosary.
“I haven’t given it a lot of thought,” Beebe said. “I need to think about it. I’m not ready to be a varsity head coach again just yet. I’m going to miss it. Right now, I’m not missing anything, but in October, I’ll miss it. I’m trying to stay positive about it. I don’t wish anything negative for them. I hope they keep progressing and turn things around. They’re hoping for something better, so I hope they get it.”