Tom Zell is returning to the ranks of head basketball coaches.
Zell will lead the Union girls basketball team. He was a longtime boys basketball coach at Northeastern, and also had stints coaching the Winchester boys and Monroe Central girls basketball programs.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been a head coach,” Zell said. “The opportunity came up here … and it just seemed like something I wanted to do, to get back into it.”
Zell was 232-190 in 20 years leading Northeastern, with his last season coming in 1999-2000. His overall career record as a head coach is 283-265.
He aims to continue the success the Rockets had in 2012-13. Union finished 16-4 for its best record since going 11-11 in 2002-03.
“Several of them (the players) are on the volleyball team, and the volleyball team is having a very successful season,” Zell said of a Rocket volleyball program that has been state-ranked in Class A this fall. “That kind of makes you feel good about the possibility there with basketball as well.
“I have talked to some of the girls and they seem really positive about the upcoming season. One (goal) is just to continue the winning atmosphere there.”
Zell was last a head coach in 2004, but he has stayed connected with the sport — and with coaching. He has been an assistant with both the Winchester girls and Union City boys programs, and also coached junior high basketball at Driver in Winchester.
“Basketball has always been a big part of my life,” Zell said.
He hopes postseason success is a big part of his tenure at Union, too.
“We’ll get there at the end of the season at tournament time, and we’ll be ready to compete for that sectional,” he said.