STAMFORD — Trinity Catholic High School has been home to Mike Walsh for four decades.
The legendary boys basketball coach will bring his unique skill set to a different Crusader challenge. Walsh will serve as Trinity Catholic girls basketball head coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
Mike Martino, who coached girls basketball last season and the opening six games this year, resigned for family reasons.
“The school administration gave me a call and asked me to help them out in this situation,” said Walsh, who was happily serving as an assistant coach for Trinity Catholic’s new boys basketball head coach Brian Kriftcher this year. “I have such an allegiance to the school. I told them I’d give it my best. We have a great group of girls basketball players who deserve the opportunity to achieve their goals this season.”
The Trinity Catholic girls basketball team is 5-1 overall following victories over Central (64-21) and Bassick (56-44) at the Bridgeport Holiday Tourney this week.
Walsh’s first game with the Lady Crusaders will be Thursday, Jan. 3 at Staples High School at 7 p.m. as the FCIAC Girls Basketball season gets underway in earnest.
Trinity Catholic is led by senior center Iyanna Lops, who will be playing basketball for Cal-State Bakersfield in the fall. Junior point guard Caitlyn Scott runs the offense while senior Kyah Nowlin and freshman Bella Edwards are intriguing players.
Trinity Catholic has nine returning players from its 8-12 squad last season.
“Coaching the girls will be a different role. It’s one I’m looking forward to. I have to get to know the team,” Walsh said. “It is an interim position. I really enjoyed working with Brian Kriftcher and the Trinity boys hoop team and enjoyed my role with them. And I will get back to the boys basketball program next year. But right now, I’m making this move for the Trinity Catholic family.”
Martino is the third recent resignation in the Trinity Catholic High School athletic department. Football coach Donny Panapada and athletic director Bob Robustelli resigned last week.
Martino is looking to spend more time with his growing family.
It isn’t known whether all three Trinity Catholic girls basketball assistant coaches — Stephen Basquiat, Tom Robustelli and Craig Holcomb — will all remain with the Crusaders program.
Coach Walsh amassed 637 victories over 39 seasons with the Trinity Catholic boys basketball program.
“The circumstances are sudden and unfortunate. I’m happy to do all I can to help,” Walsh said. “I will reach out to many avenues for advice. These girls deserve to have the best season they can.”