James Margarella, who guided Clearwater Central Catholic's boys basketball program to its first postseason appearance since 2001, stepped down after three seasons as coach to spend more time with his family.
"My wife is expecting and we're going to have two young children," Margerella said. "Basketball is tough and takes a lot of work. I just want to have time with them."
Margarella came from Tarpon Springs, where he led the Spongers to the playoffs in 2011, marking the first time the program had been to the postseason since 1999. He struggled to find similar success with the Marauders, finishing with a 30-60 record. In the Class 3A, District 9 tournament, CCC rallied to beat Calvary Christian, securing what had been an elusive playoff berth. The Marauders lost in the first round to Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.
Margarella also cited the frustrations of trying to build a basketball program at CCC with players who divided their time with other sports.
"We had tremedous athletes, but it was tough because there weren't many who were playing basketball year-round," Margarella said. "I didn't have my full team this year until mid-December because some of them were still playing football. That's hard when you're competing against Shorecrest, which has a great program, and Calvary, which is always bringing in new players."
Margarella said he will continue to teach at CCC but is trying to get into an administrative role at a school.