MACON — The Meridian School Board voted 4-3 on Monday night to not re-hire boys basketball coach Jay Driscoll for next season.
Driscoll was hired in 2015 after spending eight years as boys basketball coach at Mount Zion. The Hawks were 21-11 last season and lost to Bloomington Central Catholic in the regional finals. He was 66-54 in his four years at Meridian.
“They have a really good basketball tradition,” Driscoll said of Meridian. “I really enjoyed coaching a lot of really good players at Meridian. The Meridian community has been welcoming to me and my family. I really appreciate all they’ve done. I’m disappointed the school board decided to go that direction as they did last night.”
Driscoll said he felt like things were going in the right direction. He said Meridian Superintended Dan Brue was asked by the school board to inquire with Driscoll about playing time for seniors. Driscoll said the Hawks started three seniors. He felt that conversation went well and that he’s had a good relationship with the administration, especially athletic director Mike Bender.
"The personnel situations are private matters," Brue said. "We are not allowed to comment on those in public. The board took a vote and the vote was 4-3 to not rehire Coach Driscoll for the upcoming school year."
Driscoll said that in March he was one of the only fall or winter coaches who did not receive a favorable review from Meridian.
When asked if he would like to continue coaching elsewhere, Driscoll said he had “a lot of good experiences coaching basketball at the college and high school level,” and said he was young enough where at some point he may coach again: “You never know," he said.
He cited his track record ad Macon County Coach of the Year in 2005, along with various IHSA awards for his conduct, and mentioned he never received a technical foul during his time at Meridian.
“I feel like my coaching resume, I’ll let that speak for itself," he said.
Driscoll was 110-106 in eight years at Mount Zion with a regional championship in 2006. He took over at Meridian following the retirement of legendary coach Jack Blickensderfer, who went 251-103 in 12 years with eight regional titles and the 2009 Class 1A state title.
Driscoll was previously an assistant coach for six years at his alma mater, Quincy University. He went to high school at Chicago Mount Carmel, playing alongside future NBA star Antoine Walker and future NFL star Donovan McNabb. At Quincy, Driscoll finished his career as the Hawks' all-time leader in assists (627) and helped lead both the baseball and basketball teams to NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. He was inducted into the QU Hall of Fame in 2005.