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Marquardt has easy transition from boys to girls hoops

SALEM — When high school basketball coach Bill Marquardt retired in April after coaching for 33 years, he knew he needed to find a new winter hobby.

Marquardt thought he might do some traveling, but the love of basketball and helping kids brought him back to the basketball court, where he is now the Mount Vernon/Plankinton girls’ basketball coach.

Marquardt heard about the MVP girls’ basketball opening a few months into his retirement. Mount Vernon athletic director and MVP boys’ basketball coach Eric Denning mentioned there was an opening to coach.

“We have been coaching friends for a long time,” Denning said. “As soon as I heard there was an opening, I thought of him. I didn’t think he was the type of guy who could give up coaching, so I got in his ear about it.”

This is the first time Marquardt is coaching high school girls’ basketball. Last season, the MVP girls’ basketball team finished 5-16, ending with a loss to Tri-Valley in the District 9A tournament.

A week into the 2013-14 basketball season, the Titans are 2-2. The girls won their season opener against Chamberlain.

“I could not be happier with the players and the way they have responded to me and my coaching style,” said Marquardt, adding it wasn’t an easy decision to take over the MVP team. “It wasn’t a no brainer. The only negative I could see was I wouldn’t have the freedom to go places during the winter. After I said yes, I kind of second guessed what I was doing, but after meeting some of the kids I knew I was doing the right thing.”

Marquardt still lives in Salem and makes the 45-minute drive every day to coach the squad.

The veteran coach was at McCook Central for the last seven years, five of which were under the co-op with Montrose.

“I resigned from coaching at the end of the year because I had an outstanding young assistant coach that was past his time to take over as a head coach,” Marquardt said.

Jeff Heisinger took over as the McCook Central/ Montrose boys’ head coach and was an assistant under Marquardt for all five years of the co-op.

“Leaving my McCook Central teaching job was hard,” Marquardt said. “I had a great group of kids on the basketball team, I had an outstanding coaching staff and the community was supportive.”

In his final season leading the MCM boys’ team, Marquardt and the Fighting Cougars finished 17-6 en route to winning the District 9A title, before losing to Platte-Geddes in the Region 5A championship.

As the head boys’ coach at MCM and Hanson, where he coached 17 years, he amassed a 464-256 record.