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Saturday / January 19.
  • Vasil Resigns from Plainfield; Epps to Prep?

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    Pete Vasil has resigned as head coach of the Plainfield boys basketball team.

    Vasil, 45, was told by Plainfield officials to re-interview for his job, which he did on Tuesday. He then stepped down after the meeting with the six-person panel, handing a letter of resignation to the new principal (Brian Bilal) and interim AD (Dan Cone). Vasil then handed other letters to the Board of Education and the interim Superintendent.

    “I made up my mind with my wife last night to resign,” Vasil said by phone. “I’m not about that (politics) as far as the game of basketball goes. I’m a stand-up guy. I’ve never been about that. I thought it would be best to detach myself from the whole scenario for the best interests of my family.”

    Vasil had previously been recommended by Cone at the end of the season.

    This is a shameful and embarrassing job by the administrators at Plainfield. Vasil is a great guy, a proven coach and a hard worker.

    “Do me the right way,” Vasil said. “I’d have more respect for you if you just called me in and fired me and came up with some excuse. What are you kidding me? It’s insane.”

    We hear several names are in the mix for the position, yet Jerry Carino of the Courier News reports that former South Plainfield coach Jeff Lubreski has been recommended for the job.

    “I heard that he’s been recommended, but nothing’s going to happen until July 17 (when it goes before the Board),” Vasil said.

    Vasil went 63-19 during his three-year tenure at Plainfield, winning two Watchung Conference titles, a sectional final and leading the Cardinals to their first Union County Tournament final in more than two decades.

    “It makes me feel proud because of the level that this program is it,” Vasil said.

    He leaves behind a talented team that includes rising 6-foot-3 junior guard Isaiah Epps, who visited Maryland unofficially Tuesday on a trip Vasil was supposed to take. Epps also holds offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall and Pitt.

    “He had a great time,” Vasil said of Epps’ visit. “Now he’s got to do the right thing and make the right decision.”

    Epps will be 18 in August and only has one year of high school eligibility remaining before potentially going prep.

    “If he had one year left at Plainfield, then he could go prep for a year and conceivably benefit from that situation, as far as qualifying for a Division I scholarship” Vasil said.

    Plainfield also features 6-foot-3 rising sophomore guard Tyrone Johnson, who has an offer from Rutgers and is also a talented football quarterback.

    “As far as Tyrone, I don’t see him leaving the school,” said Derrick Bobbitt, Johnson’s AAU coach.

    Rising senior guard Anthony Baskerville will be tracked by St. Bonaventure this summer, and Iona has also expressed interest.

    Pete Vasil Jr., a strong outside shooter, is at Clifton and will play for new Clifton head coach Tommie Patterson assuming he can recover from a shattered broken leg.

    Patterson could hire Vasil as an assistant since Vasil once coached there for six years, but it’s hard to imagine him going backward to take an assistant’s position.

    “I’m speaking at Seton Hall next week. I want to keep my connections and see what comes up on the horizon for both high school and college,” Vasil said. “If it’s the right high school situation, I would look into that. If I’m going to do another high school job, it has to be very stable and somewhere where I can finish out my coaching career.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.