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Crusaders coach calls it quits


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001

TAMPA -- Karim Nohra, who in 11 years as coach built Tampa Catholic into a powerhouse, has resigned.

Nohra wouldn't get into specifics on why he left but did say, "It's just time to move on. I really enjoyed working with the girls at TC, but sometimes, it gets to a point where you need a change."

Brother David McMahon, who has been Tampa Catholic principal since 1999, said he appreciated Nohra's contributions.

"He was here 14 years (three as a junior varsity coach), and we're very grateful for the positive impact he had on many of our athletes," he said. "He did a great job."

Nohra, a civil engineering teacher and undergraduate adviser at the University of South Florida, said he is open to other coaching opportunities and feels he has many years on the sidelines left in him.

"I never thought I would have been coaching this long, but now it's in my blood," said Nohra, who played for Jesuit from 1971-75. "I love to coach because coaching is teaching and I love to teach.

"So yes, I feel someday, somewhere, I'll be coaching again."

Nohra took over at TC for the 1990-91 season and went 2-22, "and one of those victories was a forfeit," he said, chuckling.

"When I got the varsity job, I really had a junior varsity squad playing a varsity schedule," he said. "So we had to start pretty low and build the program from there.

"To be honest, when I started as the varsity coach, I think I was like a last resort type of choice. I don't think the administration at TC thought I would build the program. They had no idea how determined I was, but I was very determined."

In 11 years at TC, Nohra went 200-113, had six consecutive 20-plus win seasons, coached two valedictorians, had six 1,000-point career scorers and was named the Times All-Suncoast Coach of the Year for the 1997-98 season.

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