Greg Finkel will have a very tough act to follow as he takes over for Karim Nohra.
By SCOTT PURKS
© St. Petersburg Times,
published May 31, 2001
TAMPA -- Greg Finkel, a boys junior varsity coach at Leto, has been hired to lead Tampa Catholic's girls varsity team, the school announced Wednesday.
"I've wanted to coach my first varsity team for a few years now, so when this came open, I got right on it," Finkel said. "Coaching girls or boys doesn't matter to me at all. It's just as exciting to coach boys or girls because the game is the same."
Finkel, 29, will continue to work as a physical education teacher and intramural director at Davidson Middle School (near Westchase). But he said he intends to put in many hours with the Crusaders in the evenings.
Finkel replaces Karim Nohra, who in 11 seasons built TC into a local powerhouse. Nohra went 200-113, had six consecutive 20-win seasons, six 1,000-point career scorers and was named the Times All-Suncoast Coach of the Year in 1998.
Nohra resigned two months ago, saying he was looking for other challenges. He has since been hired as Seminole Presbyterian's girls basketball coach.
Finkel said he feels no pressure following Nohra. "Why would I feel pressure? TC has great kids and parents and a wonderful tradition," said Finkel, a 1994 South Florida graduate. "I think everything is going to be great."
TC went 19-11 last season, the first time in seven seasons the Crusaders didn't win 20 games.
Finkel said he would tailor his team's style to the abilities of his returning players, who he plans to meet within the next few weeks.
"I like to run and apply pressure, but I'm not going to do that if I don't have players who can work in that type of system," he said.
"You have to adjust your style to your athletes."