Basketball players

600th victory unites St. Patrick’s past and present basketball players to celebrate legendary coach

There are two names that are synonymous with St. Patrick’s High School basketball – Max Kurland and Mike Bailey.

Coach Kurland coached the Shamrocks for 35 seasons, then Coach Bailey became head coach in 1994 and, in keeping with tradition, is enjoying his own legacy.

“The day I was named basketball coach at St. Pat’s, following a legend like Coach Kurland on and off the court here at St. Pat’s, that was the highlight of my career here” , Bailey said.

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There were many highlights from Bailey’s time at St. Patrick’s, but more recently one brought players past and present to the same gymnasium to celebrate. A 600th career victory.

“It was a very good victory, there were a lot of basketball players, I was so hyped, when the bucket of water was poured on him, I was right behind him, it was a very good evening”, said the St. Pat’s senior. Sergio Rivera.

A 10 point win over Marist will go down in the books as a 600 win, but it tells a much bigger story.

“Coach Bailey is a really fun and energetic coach. He’s really tough on you, he’d probably kick you out of practice one day and buy you lunch the next. He’s a great, unique coach and it’s great to having him as a coach for the past four years,” said senior Timaris Brown.

“Having known him since second year, he always wants me to go there at every practice. Not only on the pitch, but it has helped me in person and it has helped me to push further in classes and in everything. what I’m doing,” added elder Nico Soriano.

The accomplishments are sure to continue for Bailey, and her keys to success are simple.

“Surround yourself with good people. My family, we had eleven assistant coaches who became head basketball coaches in high school and in the Chicagoland area,” Bailey said.

“Then most important, the players. Bring the guys who check their ego out the door and really understand that before you can stand out, you have to learn how to fit in. Our school has been able to keep up with those types of students and our basketball program has it too.”

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With 600 in the books, the next target is just around the corner.

“We have a target, 601, see if we can get Marian Catholic in the semis on Friday and just take it game by game.”

“It’s been a good season, but it’s just getting started,” said senior Jack Doelger.