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Kaczor steps down as Old Lyme boys' basketball coach

Kirk Kaczor decided it was time to spend more time at home with his family this winter than at Old Lyme High School with his boys’ basketball team.

Kaczor has stepped down after 20 seasons as the Wildcats’ head coach.

“It’s been kind of coming for years,” said Kaczor, who lives in East Lyme. “It’s about the right time to get out. My kids are getting older. My oldest (Karch) is now at middle school and I believe East Lyme will have middle school basketball this year, so I definitely want to go watch him play. I want to be around more. Basketball coaching has been great. The team has been like a family to me. I’ve needed them for a lot and I still need them, but I have my own family now. I’ve got to spend some time with them, too.

“I had always known that I wasn’t going to go past when (Karch) was in high school. I had always said that would be the drop-dead time, maybe before, but by then for sure. He’s in seventh grade and I feel like it’s the right time.”

Kaczor enjoyed some of his great success near the end of his coaching career. Old Lyme reached the CIAC Division V championship game in 2019, a first for the program. It also won the 2020 Shoreline Conference championship, its first in nine seasons, and was unbeaten in league play before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the season to a shocking halt just as the state tournament was starting.

He will remain the school's boys' golf coach, where he will begin his 14th season in the spring.

“This will be an interesting winter for me,” Kazcor said. “I might coach my little one (Kashton) in rec league, get involved in that a little bit. I’ll find stuff to do. My kids have gotten into skiing. Maybe we’ll go skiing one day. I’ve missed on some things during the winters. I’d like to do something different this year.

“My kids were at all the games. My kids always felt like they had 20 older brothers. The mixing of families has always been great. My kids, my wife (Nila) have always been super-supportive of me. I could’ve coached again this year, next year. My boys were mixed about me even giving it up, but I just felt like I wanted to be around more. They were cool with that but they were also cool with me continuing to do that job because they love going to those games. They’ve had some great role models. I’ve had some great kids over the years. I’ve truly been blessed over the years.”

n.griffen@theday.com

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