BY JOSEPH PHILLIPS
After five successful seasons as head varsity basketball coach for the Kenwood Academy Broncos, Marlo Finner has resigned.
“Well, I have officially resigned as head coach of the boys varsity basketball team at Kenwood Academy,” said Finner in an interview with the Herald. “And after five years, it’s been a great ride.”
Finner said he would like to spend more time with his family, and help his teenage son develop in the sport of baseball.
Finner, a Chicago Public League basketball legend for his days playing at Phillips Academy in the early ‘90’s, led the Broncos to their first city championship appearance in 2016. Over a three-year span, Finner turned an average program into a city powerhouse.
“The best memories that I have (to take with me) are the kids,” said Finner. “The guys you helped mature from boys to men. We help put Kenwood on the map.”
The coach talked about how the game has changed over the years, and said that outside influences have changed how coaches work with players.
Finner described his first season at Kenwood as “challenging,” his second season as “rewarding,” his third season as “exciting,” his fourth season as “challenging” and his fifth and final year as “unfortunate.”
During his tenure as head varsity basketball coach for the Broncos, Finner earned the respect of his peers by winning two Red Central Conference Championships, two Illinois High School Association Regional titles, several top three finishes in Holiday tournaments, one Final Four victory over Curie High School in 2016, and one championship appearance against the very team who gave him his first coaching opportunity, his mentor, coach Robert Smith and the Simeon Wolverines.
“Coach Smith taught me a lot about coaching [the game of basketball],” Finner said. “We helped produce a great player in Jabari Parker.”
Finner also helped develop several Division I scholarship athletes for the Broncos. Including guard/forward Nick Robinson of St. Joseph University (class of 2016), point guard/shooting guard Zion Morgan of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (class of 2016), Manny Patterson (class of 2017) who currently plays for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as a starter and many others.
Since the interview, 30 candidates are interested in replacing Finner for the head coaching position at Kenwood.
As of Herald press time, Principal Karen Calloway did not respond to requests for a comment.