WATERTOWN — Longtime Immaculate Heart Central figure Mike Delaney plans to retire from his duties as athletic director and guidance counselor in June.
Delaney said he is unsure if he will be returning as the basketball and baseball coach.
He plans to notify IHC on whether he’ll coach the boys basketball team for the 2019-20 season in the late summer or the fall.
Delaney’s decision to retire came about a month and half ago, he said. As he gets older, he said, he hopes to spend more time with his family and his grandchildren.
“My wife and I had talked,” Delaney said in a phone interview. “The three jobs I have: athletic director, guidance counselor and coaching baseball and basketball, that takes up a lot of time and it’s time that I’ve been away from my family. We felt it kind of seemed like the right time to retire.”
Delaney, who notified Immaculate Heart of his decision shortly after making it, has been a staple of IHC and IHC athletics since he began coaching freshman basketball in 1972. In 1975 he took over as varsity basketball coach and has held the position ever since.
In 1983 Delaney became a guidance counselor and athletic director at IHC.
In the 47 years as a coach and 36 years as an AD and guidance counselor, Delaney has seen countless students come through IHC and then go on to succeed after high school.
Seeing the success of old students is one the most enjoyable parts of his life, he said.
“It’s very rewarding quite honestly,” Delaney said. “More often I see my former athletes, the kids I’ve coached, I probably see them more often. They wander back and stop in and talk and tell me what’s going on in their life. I recently went to a wedding, I was invited to a wedding of one of my former players. So it’s nice to see the impact that the school had on them and their success and the success that they’re enjoying now as young adults.”
As a coach, Delaney has won over 500 basketball games and in 2006 won the New York State baseball championship for the Cavaliers and was named coach of the year. In March he was inducted into the New York State Hall of Fame.
Amanda McIlroy, Marketing and Communications Director at Immaculate Heart, graduated from IHC in 2009. She noted the impact Delaney has had and continues to have on students’ lives.
“He’ll be missed, he will,” McIlroy said. “It will be interesting, I’m hoping he will still like to coach after but we’re all really hoping he enjoys retirement. It is definitely earned.
“It will be bittersweet, you’re happy he’ll have all this free time now but he’ll be missed. He played a huge role in many lives of the students who were in an out of this building.”