Although no official announcement has been made about who will coach the Riverside-Brookfield girls basketball team next season, it appears longtime RB coach Larry Rocco will not be returning.

According to RB Athletic Director Art Ostrow, the new head girls basketball coach will officially be announced in either September or October after a school board meeting and before the winter sports season.

In the interim, Dallas Till has been coaching the RB girls basketball program in summer league competition. Till, who coached the linebackers and special teams on the RB football team last year and is currently the head baseball coach, has stepped away from the football program. He will return as the Bulldogs’ head baseball coach next spring.

Regardless of the basketball situation, Ostrow said Rocco will return as the RB boys golf coach this year.

Under Rocco’s guidance, RB implemented a highly successful, up-tempo style of basketball that yielded many conference, holiday tournament, and postseason championships. Between 2001 and 2006, Rocco coached the Bulldogs to a 100-19 record, including a 38-0 mark in the Suburban Prairie East. Star players that emerged from his program included Maggie McCloskey (RB all-time leading scorer), Katelyn McCloskey (all-state) and Meghan Hutchens (all-state).  More recently, Rocco guided stars Jessie Hutchens, Shaquita Slater, Anna Tess and a senior-laden squad to conference and regional titles before bowing out to eventual state champion Montini in a sectional final two season’s ago. 

Rocco also excelled as a softball coach, earning induction into the Illinois Coaches Association Softball Hall of Fame in February. As a softball coach at RB for 15 seasons and Hinsdale South for eight seasons, Rocco recorded 506 victories and a winning percentage just under .740. He led the RB softball team to a stellar 30-2 campaign in 1993.

With head coaching experience in multiple sports at both Elmwood Park (coached girls varsity basketball) and RB, Till is a candidate to lead the girls basketball program. Another decided advantage for Till in hiring consideration is attributable to a stipulation in the District 208 collective bargaining agreement.

According to the contract, certified staff who work inside the building (which Till does) take precedence or priority for a position over someone who does not work inside the building. Coaching positions open yearly if the current coach of a sport is from outside the building, which is the scenario with Rocco and the girls head coaching job. Any person who works inside the building that applies for an annually “open” position has a built-in advantage, assuming the person is also reasonably qualified for the position.

For now, Till’s role and focus is solely working with the Bulldogs this summer. Senior-to-be forward Elena Duve praised the style of both coaches.

“Coach Rocco is such a good guy.” Duve said. “He always pushed us to do our best. He told us that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as we work hard and improve. He told us about the importance of playing our best basketball at the end of the season.

“I’m happy that [Dallas] Till is coaching us now. Playing for him this summer, you can tell he loves the game,” she added. “He’s pushing us hard to become a better team. I think we can win the [Metro Suburban] Conference next year.”

The Bulldogs return 10 key players off last year’s team, which finished 16-15 and won a regional championship. At the Minuteman Tournament last weekend, the Bulldogs won three of four games, their only loss coming from tourney champ Hillcrest.

“I have high expectations for this group,” Till said. “I’m excited about this opportunity to coach the girls this summer.”