Matt Rubincam went to grade school at St. Elizabeth. He has lived near the school for more than 30 years. And he served the Vikings’ boys basketball program in various roles for 19 years.
So it comes as no surprise that Rubincam, 45, has been named St. Elizabeth’s new boys basketball head coach. He replaces Dick Rago, who announced his retirement earlier this summer after compiling a 358-319 record over 30 years.
“It’s like going home,” Rubincam said Tuesday.
The connections were obvious.
“I still have family in the school. I’m still connected to the school,” Rubincam said. “When Dick retired, he actually called me and told me and I thought about it. He thought I should go for it.”
The Salesianum graduate began working at St. E in 1992 as the freshman boys coach. He became junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant the next year, then served as associate head coach of the varsity team until 2011, when he began a five-year tenure as head coach of the Charter of Wilmington boys team.
Rubincam coached the Force to a 36-65 record in the ultra-competitive Blue Hen Flight A. Now, he’s happy to be back where he started.
“It’s a really good program,” Rubincam said. “I’m kind of honored and kind of blessed to take the head coaching job. It’s a good program, it’s a good atmosphere, it’s great kids. St. Elizabeth is a second home to me.”
The Vikings have plenty of talent returning from teams that went 31-12 the last two years and reached the DIAA quarterfinals in 2014-15. The new coach wants them to be able to play at a variety of paces.
“Hopefully, we can win the first boys state championship there,” Rubincam said. “We’re going to be uptempo, but I will run whatever system we’ll need to run to beat the opponent. That could change in any game we play.”
Eagles still flying high
Defending DIAA Division I football champion Smyrna showed that it should be a major contender again this season by edging Middletown 25-24 in a thrilling championship game at the USA Football 7 on 7 Northeastern Regional tournament on July 9 at Middletown.
The 7-on-7 format doesn’t involve linemen or contact, but it does give high school coaches a chance to work with many of their players over the summer.
“It can be fun, and the kids have a blast doing it,” Smyrna coach Mike Judy said. “Anytime the DIAA OKs some get togethers to meet with the kids in a 7 on 7 league or tournament, that’s one more time to try to get better. We can turbo through some reps and try to get as many touches to the football as we can.”
The victory in the one-day tournament qualified the Eagles for the USA Football 7 on 7 National Championship in Hoover, Ala., but the team wasn’t able to manage the logistics necessary to make the trip last week. But Smyrna is also playing in the New Castle County 7 on 7 league this summer, giving returning All-State quarterback Nolan Henderson valuable time to work with a new receiving corps without worrying about a pass rush.
“When there’s nobody breathing down his throat, he can put the ball anywhere he wants it at any time,” Judy said of Henderson. “That’s a big advantage for us.”
Rounding it up
— Red Lion Christian sophomore-to-be Austin Barbin got off to a flying start on Monday at the U.S. Junior Amateur golf tournament, but his finish wasn’t as strong. Barbin, 15, birdied three of his first four holes at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., but erased that success with a triple bogey two holes later and finished with a 76. He is tied for 80th, but has 18 more holes to play Tuesday in a bid to reach the low 64 and qualify for match play.
— Padua senior Sarah Brush is one of 52 girls named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Scholar All-America team. Brush finished with a 4.37 grade-point average while earning first-team All-State honors and helping the Pandas (18-0) win their fifth straight state championship and finish second nationally in the NSCAA’s Top 25 spring rankings.
— The Delaware High School Baseball Coaches Association honored retiring St. Andrew’s coach Bob Colburn prior to a Blue Rocks game at Frawley Stadium on June 29. Colburn, who is stepping down after 55 seasons as coach, was the second recipient (following former Newark football coach Butch Simpson) of a DIAA Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by incoming DIAA executive director Tommie Neubauer. Colburn also was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame this spring.
— Tracey McCracken has been named field hockey coach at St. Mark’s. McCracken coached at St. Elizabeth the previous five seasons.
— A.I. du Pont High School is seeking nominations for its next Hall of Fame class. People may be nominated for athletics, academics and/or service to school and community. Email athletic director Mark Alley at firstname.lastname@example.org for a nomination form. Nominations must be submitted by Aug. 1.
— Sussex Tech junior Nathan Quillin has been selected to participate in the inaugural Warrior National Prospect Invite lacrosse showcase, being held Tuesday through Friday in Richmond, Va. Dover junior Grace Gast will participate in the girls event.
— Archmere is seeking a head coach for varsity field hockey. For more information, email athletic director Dave Oswinkle at email@example.com or call (302) 798-6632, ext. 798.
Contact Brad Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ