Kevin Wielk has been hired as the next boys basketball coach at St. Joseph High School, it was announced Friday.
Wielk takes over for Paul Dudzinski, who was let go in June after just two seasons with the Cadets.
This marks a homecoming for Wielk, who graduated from St. Joseph in 1995, where he played under the legendary Vito Montelli.
“I’m fortunate to be able to go back and coach where I played,” Wielk said. “Coach Montelli taught us not just about the game but about life.”
Most recently, Wielk had served as an assistant coach at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven under Mitch Oliver for eight seasons. During that time, the Falcons went 170-27 with seven Great Northeast Athletic Conference championships and six trips to the NCAA Division III tournament, and won at least 20 games every season.
“We are very excited to have Kevin Wielk join our coaching staff,” St. Joseph athletic director Kevin Butler said in a press release. “Kevin brings a wealth of experience from all levels of basketball, having coached youth AAU, high school, and for the past (eight) years at the collegiate level. He has been successful at all levels and will bring a competitive level to practices and games each day.
“Kevin is coming home as an SJ alumni and we look forward to him leading our boys basketball program.”
St. Joseph went just 4-16 last year and finished 14-28 overall under Dudzinski. The Cadets have not advanced past the second round of the state tournament since 2012, when they defeated Hillhouse in the Class LL championship. That was their second straight title and 11th overall.
“We will get the kids to play hard and compete. I’m going to bring in a similar system of what we used at Albertus and modify it. Hopefully, we will get the program back to the level it was,” Wielk said.
Wielk, 41, has previously coached at the high school level as an assistant with Platt Tech, Westbrook and Notre Dame-Fairfield. He played collegiately at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., and was a captain his senior season.
Joe Morelli contributed to this story.