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Mappas resigns as Chesapeake hoops coach
Highly successful coach cites family considerations as key to decision

WYE MILLS – The John Mappas Era ended suddenly – and too soon, according to Chesapeake College officials.

Mappas, who coached the men’s basketball program to a Region XX championship in 2008, resigned Tuesday morning. He cited family reasons for his decision, which came just two days before the official start of practice for the 2009-10 season.

"This is mainly a decision about what’s best for my family," said Mappas, 63, who shares primary care duties for his mother with his sister.

College officials supported the decision even while lamenting it.

"If there’s one thing you know about Mapp, it’s that his family comes first," said Dr. Richard Midcap, the college’s vice president for student success. "I’ve known him for 35 years, and that’s always been his top priority. So it doesn’t surprise me that family considerations were at the heart of his decision. We all support that decision, but he’s going to be very difficult to replace."

"It’s a huge loss for the athletic program, but Mapp has to do what’s best for his family," said Frank Szymanski, the athletic director who twice hired Mappas to head the men’s basketball program. "We all wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Mappas coached the Skipjacks from 2000-04 and 2006-09, compiling a 124-80 record that included a region championship, two region title games, one state finals appearance and three trips to the state semifinals. His 124 career wins at Chesapeake are a school record, as are the 27 victories the Skipjacks achieved in the 2007-08 season on the way to the college’s only men’s basketball region championship.

"It’s really all about the players," said Mappas. "When you have the opportunity to coach kids like Cyril Djoukeng and Andrew Lee (all-Americans who played for Mappas at Chesapeake) and Preston Faulk (an all-conference choice) . . . those are the kids who make your program."

Mappas, who coached Charles County Community College to a 100-23 record in four years as the Hawks’ head coach, has a 224-103 record in 11 seasons as a junior college head coach. He also spent nearly three decades as a high school head coach at five different high schools in Southern Maryland, including a state finals appearance while coaching at Chopticon High School. Yet his biggest success came at Chesapeake during the 2007-08 season.

"That was special," said Mappas. "To win a region championship with seven players is rare. When you have kids like Andrew Lee, perhaps as good a player as I’ve ever coached, and Aubin Reeves, the best point guard I’ve coached, and a great shooter like Preston Faulk and someone like Ty Newman who could just flat-out score all on the same team, that’s a special group."

Mappas said many people at the college contributed greatly to his program’s success.

"There are so many people who made our success possible," said Mappas. "In the athletic department, I need to thank Frank (Szymanski), Becky (Fauver), and Bill (Faust). Everyone in the financial aid and advising and registration offices and all of the faculty did so much to make sure our players could succeed on the court and in the class. The college really supported our program."

Midcap and Szymanski said the college is considering what options are available in selecting a new coach on short notice.

"We’re already looking at potential candidates," said Szymanski, who indicated the college hopes to have a coach in place within the next few days.

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