Notre Dame-Fairfield will not be renewing Vin Laczkoski’s contract for an 11th year on the job. Laczkoski made that information public on Monday less than 48 hours after the Lancers’ appearance in the Class M state final on Saturday.
“He (Notre Dame principal Chris Cipriano) told me he would not renew my contract before the SWC (tournament) final,” Laczkoski said. “He said they wanted to go in a different direction.”
Laczkoski finished 175-72 in his decade-long tenure, which included two South-West Conference tournament titles and trips to the Class M state championship game the last two seasons. There were also two separate semifinal-round appearances in the state tournament.
“Notre Dame was an after-thought (when he got there) and now it’s one of the best teams in the state,” Laczkoski said.
Laczkoski, 59, was suspended for four games this season pending an investigation by an independent agency regarding an alleged incident that occurred during a practice in February. He was cleared by the agency of wrongdoing on March 2.
The next morning, Laczkoski and Cipriano met. While the veteran coach was allowed to coach the SWC tournament final after missing the first two games of the tournament, Cipriano made the decision to not renew his contract.
“It wasn’t a case of wins and losses, I’ll leave it at that,” Cipriano said. He wouldn’t comment further on why the decision was made or what was discussed at the meeting. “It was a thrill to watch the kids capture their second SWC title and to see the girls win it as well. It was fun to watch the kids have a successful season.”
Laczkoski said his players were in constant contact with him during his suspension. They also had warmup T-shirts with the words, “#StandforVinny” on it.
The Lancers also went 4-0 in that stretch, then also won their next five before falling to Sacred Heart, the state’s No. 1 team, in Saturday’s final.
Laczkoski said he told his players following the Class M semifinal win over Northwest Catholic that the final would be his last game coaching Notre Dame.
“The kids showed what respect, loyalty and integrity is to the whole entire state. They showed it to everyone,” Laczkoski said.
Laczkoski said he would like to coach again, but also willing to be an assistant coach if the right situation presented itself. He’s also satisfied just coaching in an AAU program called Premier Hoops Development, something he has been doing for two years.
Laczkoski currently has 312 victories, which includes stints at Bullard-Havens, Stratford, Norwalk, the Trumbull girls and Notre Dame.
Cipriano, in his sixth year as principal, said the job would be posted next week and that a search committee would be put together. He also said he would have input on the final decision, which will come before the end of the school year.
“If someone thinks there is an heir apparent, that’s not the case,” Cipriano said. “I want what’s best for the kids and our school.”
That’s now three head coaching positions open in the SWC. The Connecticut Post reported that Mike Hvizdo resigned at Weston last week and Paul Dudzinski resigned at Stratford in early February.