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Welcome to the New Haven Register high school sports blog where our talented staff of Chris Hunn, Joe Morelli, Dan Nowak and Mike Pucci will keep you up to date on everything to do with high school sports in Connecticut. Mike Pucci's Gridiron Glory blog for high school football remains. We hope you enjoy and feel free to join in the conversation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clem Batchelder to step down

Hamden boys' basketball coach Clem Batchelder will step down following this season, which could be Wednesday night at Norwich Free Academy or even further in in the Class LL state tournament.
Batchelder had a pretty good set of bookends for his career: he started in 1987-88 when Scott Burrell, the future UConn standout and current Quinnipiac University assistant coach, was a junior. He ends his career with Tobin Carberry, the younger brother of Tobe, the ex-Hillhouse standout, trying to help the Green Dragons continue their season.

Batchelder had hoped to retire a year earlier and go out with his son Scott, but wanted one more go-around after Hamden finished 7-13, one game short of qualifying for the Class LL state tournament.

This year, Hamden is 19-6 and reached the finals of the SCC tournament. The Green Dragons never did win an SCC or state championship under Batchelder's tenure, but there were some great teams.

In seven years on the boys' basketball beat, I have not met too many nicer, down-to-earth coaches than Clem. Very direct, very honest. I wish him well.

His assistant, Jared Beck, definitely deserves the opportunity to try and win the job. But after the success the football team had when Hamden went outside the school system to hire Scott Benoit, I believe, in the end, Hamden will make the same move for basketball.

Believe me, there will be a long line of candidates itching to become the next head coach. And the names you will hear through the rumor mill will be pretty familiar ones from the Greater New Haven area coaching fraternity, assuming the job is offered outside the Hamden school system.

Feel free to add your commentary who should be the next coach at Hamden High.


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