Boys Basketball: Pat McNamara takes over at Aurora Christian

Updated: April 25, 2012 9:07PM



Pat McNamara made it to the third side of the Aurora Triangle of rivalries in the Suburban Christian Conference Wednesday when he was named varsity basketball coach at Aurora Christian.

McNamara, who was the head coach at Marmion for five seasons from 2002-2007 and served as an assistant to Nate Drye the past three seasons at Aurora Central, succeeds Steve Hanson.

“I’ve been involved ever since ACS got into the SCC and it’s developed into a good rivalry with ACC,” said McNamara. “I would imagine it is with Marmion, too.”

Hanson directed the Eagles the past three seasons but should earn his Master’s degree from Aurora University in June and would like to pursue an administrative position.

“I don’t have anything definite (in the works),” said Hanson, who currently is a Dean and teaches statistics and computer programming classes at ACS.

“I could still be at Aurora Christian next year but I’m a parent and as a parent, I would want a coach who is all-in. The kids are the No. 1 reason for getting into it.”

The Eagles went 18-7 last season after making a run to the Class 2A super-sectional the previous season and went 40-43 in Hanson’s three years. They will return a solid nucleus of players from this year’s team, including four-year starter Ryan Suttle, Ryan McQuade, Johnathan Harrell and Cory Windle.

“I expect them to be pretty competitive,” Hanson said. “And I think Pat is a good guy and a real good fit. It will be a good move for everybody.”

Hanson, who has a law degree and real estate license, is the president of McNamara Enterprises in Yorkville. His daughter Maggie is a senior at ACS this year and his son, Patrick, will be a freshman at the school in the fall.

“I’m familiar with the school and the kids, they’re nice kids,” McNamara said. “I think it will be a good experience.”

Before coaching at Marmion, where his teams went 73-58, McNamara coached at Plano three seasons and had a 39-40 record. He also coached several years in his home state of New York before coming to Illinois in the mid-1980s to attend law school at Northern Illinois University.

“I like to stress, basically, rebounding and defense and sharing the ball. I like using man-to-man defense and fullcourt pressure like we did at Marmion,” he said, adding that he learned a little bit about zone defense the past three years working with Drye who runs a 2-3 about 99.9 percent of the time.

Drye said there will be no secrets when the Eagles play his Chargers.

“We aren’t going to change anything, Pat can pull out his scouting reports from his days at Marmion,” the ACC coach said. “He’s a great guy and I wish him nothing but the best. He’ll do great over there. He used to beat me savagely when he was at Marmion, I just hope it doesn’t go back to that with ACS.”

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