Tim Trendel knew all about the coaches who had preceded him like Ken Styler and Gene Nolan.
He knew the 20-win seasons and the program success from year-to-year.
For Trendel, it was too good a situation to miss out on.
Marist High School introduced Trendel on June 21 as the school’s new varsity boys basketball head coach. Trendel takes over for longtime coach Gene Nolan who stepped down in May to take the same position at Naperville North High School.
“This was a really good fit for me. When you talk about a school that is the total package, Marist is that job,” Trendel said. “It jumps out at you, academically, spiritually and athletically. The basketball program has been rocking and rolling for years, so it was a great opportunity for me.”
Trendel comes to Marist from Providence Catholic in New Lenox. The head coach for the Celtics for the last 8 seasons, he posted a 117-117 record and won three regional titles, including most recently in the 2014-15 season.
An Elmwood Park native, Trendel has coached previously at St. Patrick High School, his alma mater. He also played collegiate baseball at Dominican University.
For the new RedHawks coach though, basketball has always had a pull on him.
“The team aspect of the game has always appealed to me,” Trendel said. “With team-building, you try and build up leaders in your program. It’s 5 guys on the court pulling as one. It sounds clichéd, but that’s the neat part about the game.”
Trendel takes over a Marist program coming off historic back-to-back seasons that saw the RedHawks win 27 games each year, a program record. Marist lost to state power Simeon in February in a sectional final.
The hiring comes at a tough time as Trendel missed much of the allotted summer workouts allowed under IHSA rules, but he knows where he wants to take the program.
“The timing is rough, but I had a chance to meet the kids and start to figure everything out with coaches,” Trendel said. “I want tough kids who play tough. We’ll be aggressive and running on the attack up and down the court. We want to play that tough East Suburban Catholic Conference style toughness.”
In Trendel, Marist athletic director Eric Simpson believes the RedHawks have found the perfect fit. Trendel will teach in the physical education department and also hopes to coach in the baseball program’s lower levels.
“In Tim, Marist is getting a seasoned coach with extensive experience and a great reputation as an educator,” Simpson said in a release. “He has consistently developed successful basketball programs on and off the court and has established a tradition of winning as a head coach.”
For the 41-year-old Trendel, he plans on continuing to adjust and develop with the game, both in X’s and O’s and coaching style.
“When I first started coaching, Bobby Knight was the hot coach. Everyone thought you had to run up and down the sidelines,” Trendel said with a laugh. “I’ve tried to become more of a coach like (Boston Celtics coach) Brad Stevens. I want to be more of a transformational coach. Yes, we focus on wins and winning a lot, but we want to help these kids’ lives and help them with maturity and leadership.”