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Tom Ptak of La Salle has been hired as Illinois Valley Community College's women's basketball coach, Athletic Director Tommy Canale announced today.
Ptak was the assistant boy's coach at St. Bede Academy the past two years and served as the girl's varsity assistant at the Academy for 11 seasons. The last six seasons of that tenure he also coached the Lady Bruins junior varsity.
"I am very excited he is on board," said Canale. "I was very impressed with his passion and desire to lead our program and I look for great things from someone so well respected in the IVCC community."
Ptak said, "I am honored IVCC has chosen me to lead their program. I have been following their program for years and I am thrilled to be working at the collegiate level. I know I have big shoes to fill – they have been so successful."
Ptak said he will soon contact all returning and incoming players for his 2013-14 team.
St. Bede Athletic Director and girls basketball head coach Tom McGunnigal worked alongside Ptak from 1997 to 2008 and saw his work with the boy's team from 2011 to 2013.
"The loss of Tom to our boy's program is as big as it was to our girl's program in 2008," said McGunnigal. "His knowledge of the game and his love for St. Bede will be hard to replace.
"This is a great pickup by IVCC and for women's basketball in our district," McGunnigal added. "He will pick up where Pat (Cinotte) had the program and run with it."
Cinotte, who resigned in late June, earned 103 wins vs. just 29 losses over four seasons and his teams made two appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
During Ptak's tenure working with McGunnigal, St. Bede advanced to the Sweet 16, won three regionals, three Christmas tournaments and never had a losing season. Since 2009, Ptak has worked with area high school girls as head coach of the IV Starz AAU team.
A 1975 St. Bede graduate, Ptak earned his mortuary science degree from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Skokie in 1985. He is a licensed funeral director and 27-year member and past president of the Illinois Valley YMCA board.
Ptak is an alderman and finance chairman for the City of La Salle, past board member and past vice-president of the La Salle Business Association and past-president of the Peru CSO (1987). He is married to Lynn Cawley.
"We are excited about Tom leading our program," said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran. "He is an experienced coach and a respected business and community leader who will represent our team and college well."
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