Prep Girls Basketball

Pazanin leaves QHS to pursue college coaching opportunity

After leading the Quincy High School girls basketball team to 36 victories the past two seasons, Martin Pazanin has resigned as head coach to pursue college coaching opportunities. | H-W File Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 10, 2019 9:00 am Updated: May. 10, 2019 9:22 am

QUINCY -- Martin Pazanin wasn't going to leave the Quincy High School girls basketball program for any college coaching job.

There had to be opportunity to grow as a coach and learn more about the game.

Culver-Stockton College men's basketball coach Aaron Hill is offering that and more.

"He's a bright mind," Pazanin said. "Talking to him I felt like I probably learned more about the game of basketball than he learned about me by the time I left."

Pazanin will get to soak in that knowledge on a daily basis now.

After two seasons at QHS in which he led the Blue Devils' to their first 20-win season in more than 20 years, Pazanin resigned Thursday to accept an offer to be an assistant coach at C-SC. He and QHS athletic director Scott Douglas informed the team of the decision Friday morning.

"The easy part is going on to Culver and to a job that I'm super psyched about," Pazanin said. "The hard part is moving on from kids who I really care about a lot and really enjoyed coaching."

The lure of the college game was too enticing to ignore.

"It's something that's always been in the back of my mind," Pazanin said. "The past couple of years I've been so focused on the job at Quincy that I hadn't thought much about it, but this was something that just came up and it felt like everything was right."

Pazanin, who was hired in April 2017 to replace Brad Bergman, had three previous high school coaching jobs, including spending two years at Mundelein, where he was 15-39 in two seasons before coming to Quincy.

In his first season, he led the Blue Devils to a 15-12 record his first season -- it was their first winning season since 2005. Last winter, Quincy went 21-9, enjoying its best record since the 1997-98 team reached the Class AA state quarterfinals.

"The girls did some great things on the court, but the experiences with them overall are what were special," Pazanin said. "Great kids who were really hard workers with really high character. That's why they exceeded a lot of outside people's expectations. Their basketball character is really high.

"They work they put in behind the scenes was a lot more than people realized. The journey together was really fun."

Douglas said the school will begin an immediate search for Pazanin's replacement.