March 21, 2019 — The winningest basketball coach in Saint Ignatius High School (SIHS) history is hanging up the whistle.
Brian Becker, who graduated from Saint Ignatius in 1977, led the Cleveland-based Wildcats in basketball for the past 22 seasons. During his tenure, they won ten district championships and an Ohio state title in 2000-01. He finished with an overall record of 355-169.
“Coaching has been fun,” Becker said. “I’m getting old. I still enjoy teaching, and I’ve really enjoyed coaching these past four years. But younger people need opportunities. I think there are some really good young guys out there. I’ve been blessed. I’ve had kids who worked really hard. I’m really happy with the results.”
Becker also served as head golf coach from 1989-98 and from 2012-18. His teams captured five District Championships during his tenure and reached the state tournament several times, earning runner-up honors in 1998 and placing in 2018. Becker also coached three individual qualifiers to state over 17 seasons.
||Head coach Brian Becker coaches the Saint Ignatius Wildcats during a timeout.|
“In thinking of Brian Becker, the one phrase that comes to mind is ‘to give and not to count the cost,’ which comes from St. Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, SIHS athletic director. “It’s hard to match what he’s given to Saint Ignatius over the years as a basketball coach, a golf coach, a math teacher, and as a mentor to a lot of kids. We were blessed as an institution to have him dedicate as much as he had to the school over the years.”
Becker will stay on as math teacher at Saint Ignatius, where he has been just as successful—winning numerous accolades, including the "John J. Rossing, S.J. Award" from SIHS in 2011.
“I appreciate Brian, not only as a coach, but as an Ignatian educator,” said Fr. Raymond Guiao, SJ, president of SIHS. “Brian is someone who has been so long dedicated to what it is we do here—educating and forming to know, love, and serve Christ. That’s Brian Becker. He’s done that and he continues to do that. Our students are better men for having been taught by Brian Becker.”