The new head coach of the Ridgefield High girls basketball team is someone well versed in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
And someone well known in Wilton.
Rob Coloney, who served as Wilton’s head coach until leaving at the end of the 2017-18 season to take a job in career services at the University of Notre Dame, has been hired to fill the Ridgefield opening that arose when Tom DiMarzo unexpectedly resigned in February, right before the postseason began. DiMarzo cited personal reasons for his resignation.
“Rob Coloney comes highly recommended,” Ridgefield Athletic Director Dane Street said. “He had a great track record at Wilton, was impressive during the interview process, and has excellent references. We’re thrilled to have him in Ridgefield.”
At Wilton, Coloney was on the varsity staff as an assistant coach when the Warriors won the school’s first-ever Class LL state championship in 2014. Coloney then took over as Wilton’s head coach the following season and coached for three years, guiding the Warriors to state tourney berths each season.
“I was in Wilton for 10 years, coaching either youth basketball or with the high school team, so I’m well aware of the rivalry between the town and Ridgefield,” said Coloney, who will continue working for Notre Dame on the East Coast, helping grad students with networking and job searches.
“It’s certainly going to be interesting. I’m sure there will be Wilton people who can’t believe I’m going to be coaching at Ridgefield, but this was not a decision made in a rivalry sense,” added Coloney. “I wanted to get back to coaching in the FCIAC, and when the Ridgefield job opened up I reached out to Dane Street.”
Street said that Coloney was one of 12 qualified candidates who applied for the job. Coloney and five others eventually went through the interview process. Anthony Hill, an assistant who became interim head coach when DiMarzo resigned, was also among the candidates.
“I think the Ridgefield coaching job is one of the best in the state,” said Coloney. “It’s a proven program in a town that has a great youth basketball program.”
During his time at Wilton, Coloney devised a number of rules to generate enthusiasm and promote team camaraderie. One of those was having the players not wear any orange (one of Ridgefield’s school colors, along with black).
“Three practices in, someone wore orange socks,” said Coloney. “We ran [sprints] that day.
“I’m sure we will do some things like that on the converse in Ridgefield,” added Coloney. “We are going to embrace the rivalry and have some fun with it.”