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St. Elizabeth names longtime assistant Cooney girls basketball coach

WILMINGTON – St. Elizabeth High School has brought back longtime assistant coach Dan Cooney as the head coach of its girls basketball team, the school has announced. Cooney takes over for Frank Aiello, who served as interim coach last year after the dismissal of Tom Ferrier.

Cooney, a 1983 graduate of St. Elizabeth High School, served as an assistant for 16 years. In that time, the Vikings appeared in six state finals, winning two championships, including 2013. St. Elizabeth athletic director Joe Papili said Cooney’s coaching experience was a factor, but that it was with the Vikings did not necessarily play into the search committee’s decision.

“He was the most experienced, qualified candidate that we had for the job,” Papili said.

The Vikings went 18-6 last season, falling to Sanford in the state championship game. Three starters return – Gabrielle Julian, Alex Thomas and Alanna Speaks, as do the talented Lexi Bromwell and Jordyn Humes. There are some big shoes to fill, however, as St. Elizabeth loses Macy Robinson and Sabrina Hackendorn.

Papili said Cooney is ready to get to work in the “extremely competitive” environment that is girls basketball in Delaware.

“He’s going to work hard and put together a staff that’s going to give the girls the best chance to succeed,” Papili said.