Bazsali starts 50th year of coaching in 1st year at Guilford - – Rockford’s News Leader

Bazsali starts 50th year of coaching in 1st year at Guilford


Bruce Bazsali has seen a lot in his half-century of coaching. But the first day of practice is always a special day.

"This is my 50th year so that makes this one special," Bazsali said.

He took time to reflect Sunday night ahead of his first official practice as Guilford's head coach on Monday. Bazsali spent the past seven years at Rockford Lutheran before replacing Mel Gilfillan at the helm of the Vikings. That reflection brought about a realization for the long-time coach.

"I wouldn't take one second of it back," he said. "It's been an incredible journey. The people I've met - players, coaches, officials, administrators, teachers, parents. It's been amazing."

Bazsali takes over a Guilford team that has missed the playoffs the past three years. Bazsali understands the challenge ahead in his newest coaching endeavor.

"Your energy level is just renewed," Bazsali said about starting a new chapter in his career. "Everything is new. You have to be on your toes and ready to go. It's real exciting."

His players are sometimes in awe that a man in his 70s can be so full of energy on the sidelines and running around at practice.

"You would think a guy for his age wouldn't have that much energy, but sometimes he has more energy than us," senior quarterback Julian Haynie said. "We kind of worry about it because we think it's too much. But everyday is something different and we love it."

Bazsali hopes that energy translates to the field on Friday nights for his team. Guilford opens the season against Hononegah.

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