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St. Joe's hires Gabe Michael as its next basketball coach

One team has filled its coaching vacancy while another suddenly is in need of a boys basketball coach.

St. Joe's announced Monday that Gabe Michael has been hired as its new boys basketball coach. Michael, who has been coach the past six years at Williamsville South, takes over for longtime coach Mark Simon.

Simon retired at the end of the past regular after 18 seasons leading the program. Under Simon, the Marauders won four Manhattan Cup championships and two New York State Catholic High Schools Athletic Association Class A titles. He won his 300th career game this past season.

"I just think it's a good opportunity," Michael said Monday. "It's a different level in the Monsignor Martin. It's nothing against South. I had an amazing six years there. It's just a different challenge."

In Michael, St. Joe's receives a coach that has guided Williamsville South to at least 19 wins each of the past four seasons. The Billies won the overall Section VI Class A championship in 2015 and 2016, reaching the state semifinals in 2016.

After guiding the Billies to 21 wins in 2014-15, Michael led them to a program record 22 wins the following season.

Williamsville South has lost close decisions in the Section VI Class A-1 final each of the past two seasons. That includes last March's 97-95 four overtime defeat to West Seneca West in which the Billies had final possession and shots for the win at the end of each of the final five periods.

“We were very fortunate to have some incredible candidates express strong interest in the position,” St. Joe's athletic director Brian Anken said in a release. “But Gabe’s track record of success in building a solid program while earning the respect of so many in the basketball community was really impressive.”

Michael, a graduate of rival Canisius High School, became interested in coaching while at Xavier University. The 2004 graduate of Xavier started out his coaching career as an assistant at Division I and III college programs from 2005-12.

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