In advancing to the IHSA Class 1A regional final, the MPA varsity girls got another bit of business out of the way, securing the 500th victory of Tom Drahozal’s 34-year career coaching Warriors basketball.
A 76-22 home win against St. Francis de Sales in the regional semifinals on Feb. 14, 2022, was Drahozal’s 394th win in 27 seasons with the MPA girls. He previously won 106 games in seven seasons as varsity boys coach.
“It is wonderful to have this occasion to celebrate the success that Coach Drahozal and his teams have achieved,” athletics director Vinson Williams said. “He is one of the most outstanding coaches in our school’s history, with a legacy of leadership that has positively impacted the lives of so many students and colleagues across three decades.”
Junior forward Sheridan Harris powered Monday’s win with 43 points, 30 rebounds, and 11 assists, leading the Warriors (11-6) into a regional championship matchup with Aqsa School on Thursday at MPA.
Since 2007, the MPA girls have won seven IHSA Class 1A regional championships and have posted a .661 winning percentage, including seven seasons with at least 19 wins. They had at least 21 wins in each of three consecutive seasons before last season was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Drahozal needs 22 wins to tie for 50th among all coaches in Illinois high school girls basketball history.
“This milestone is more about the players and assistant coaches that have played or coached with me,” Drahozal said. “Without them I would not have been able to get to 500 wins.
“The girls from year to year take pride in wanting to be the best that they can be, and my assistant coach for 27 years, Francie Kozacik, is someone who also deserves a great deal of credit for the long term success of our program.
“When I started coaching girls basketball at MPA, my goal was to show that the girls program could be successful. I think that we have been able to do that.”
Drahozal joined the MPA faculty in 1987 as a social studies teacher and has been Upper School principal since 2010.
He was an assistant coach and eventually a head coach for successful varsity boys basketball teams before taking over the varsity girls program in 1994.
Drahozal also won more than 200 games and an armful of accolades in three decades leading the MPA baseball program.