Jimmy Economopoulos was appointed the new boys basketball coach at Hand on Tuesday.
This is the first head coaching job for Economopoulos, 25, who was the freshman coach at Foran from 2013-15 and has coached in AAU for a number of years.
“I’ve been wanting to be a head high school coach basically ever since I graduated high school (from Lyman Hall),” Economopoulos said. “I’m definitely excited. I can’t wait to get to work, meet my players and get after it. There is a lot of work that has to get done, but I’m very excited right now.”
Economopoulos replaces Frank Rossi, who resigned in May after nine seasons. Rossi went 108-100, reaching the CIAC state quarterfinals three times.
Economopoulos played at Lyman Hall (2005-09) and Albertus Magnus College (2009-13). He played for Mitch Oliver at Albertus and was a part of three Great Northeast Athletic Conference championships.
“He was part of a core group of players that built a foundation for success here,” Oliver said. “I could always rely on him as another voice and coach on the court. I knew he would be a coach one day. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be a very successful coach at Hand High.”
Hand athletic director Craig Semple said there were 11 applicants of which seven were interviewed.
“Jimmy was the Unanimous choice by the committee,” Semple said. “We liked his demeanor, liked his communication. He definitely will be able to connect with the kids. He obviously knows the game and he is mature beyond his years. To me, he was the perfect combination of composure, but competitiveness.”
If the Economopoulos name rings a bell, it should. Jimmy’s father Nick was a longtime coach for three state girls programs: Lyman Hall, East Catholic and Coginchaug. He is second all time with 619 victories.
Now the son will try to carve his own path to coaching success.
“It (the Southern Connecticut Conference) has been an unbelievably competitive conference,” Economopoulos said. “Coming in every day, you need to be at your best in order to compete with the upper-echelon teams. There are no days off in the SCC.”