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John Duella named St. John's Prep head varsity basketball coach

Posted by Metro Desk  April 8, 2013 07:34 PM

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After St. John’s Prep head varsity basketball coach Sean Connolly stepped down in March, athletic director Jim O’Leary didn’t have to look far for a replacement. In a news conference at the school Monday at 4 p.m., it was announced that assistant varsity coach John Duella of Peabody would succeed Connolly.

“I’m thankful to everyone at St. John’s Prep for the opportunity to be head coach and their confidence in me to keep the program going in the right direction,” Duella said. “This is something I’ve always wanted and I couldn’t ask for a better team.”

Duella said he expressed interest in the position as soon as Connolly, who led the Eagles for five years, stepped down. He found out he got the job last week in a meeting with St. John’s Prep principal Keith A. Crowley, and O’Leary, but he had to keep it a secret until the official announcement.

Duella, a physical education teacher for grades 6 to 8 in the Peabody school system, has been assistant varsity coach since 2009 and helped Connolly lead the Eagles to the Division 1 state championship in 2011. He also assisted in leading them to Catholic Conference championships in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

He has high hopes, and believes he can lead St. John's Prep to another tournament win.

“We were 18-2 last season but suffered a disappointing loss in the tournament,” Duella said. “I hope we can build off of [the loss] and go even farther this season.”

Mary Pavlu can be reached at mary.pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu.

Originally published on the blog The High School Sports Blog.

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