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July 22, 2014

Scislowicz stepping down as coach of Adams basketball program

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Fran Scislowicz, the only head coach of the Adams’ girls basketball program, retires with a 317-189 record.

ROCHESTER HILLS — In his fond farewell, Fran Scislowicz laughed as he admitted he really isn’t going anywhere.

Even if he is.

“It was time for me to step aside and let someone else take charge,” the longtime coach and teacher at Rochester Adams said last week about his girls basketball program and his decision to retire from the position. He will continue to teach and coach softball. “I’ve always believed in paying it forward, and when I took this program over, I inherited a team with a lot of core players that was ready to succeed right away. Whoever takes over this team next year will have four of the top six players returning and will be in a spot to compete right off the bat.”

That may be so, but there’s no doubt Scislowicz stepping aside is a whole new chapter for the Highlanders.

He’s been the program’s leader since 1991.

From that season until last, Scislowicz retires with a 317-189 record, 11 league titles, seven district crowns, four regional titles and a spot in the 1993 state semifinals.

From 1991-1996, his teams won 63 consecutive games in the Metro Suburban Athletic Association, a fact Scislowicz called one of his favorite accomplishments.

But after going 17-3 this past winter, claiming an Oakland Activities Association White Division title and winning 14 games in a row at one point, Scislowicz said he started thinking about calling it a career on the sideline.

“Toward the end of the season, I started considering it,” he explained. “But when basketball ended, I only had one day before softball started, so I didn’t give it much thought until June. When softball ended, I started analyzing my future and I felt then it was a good time to make the decision.”

He added that there really was no hesitation in his thought process

“The support from everyone has been overwhelming, forever,” he said. “This program will be in good hands, no matter who they hire. … One thing I’ve learned being a veteran coach is it’s nice to go out on your own terms. We had a great season last year with a great group of girls, and I feel ready.”

Scislowicz, 57, said he plans to continue teaching physical education in the elementary school and that he has “a few good years left in (him)” as far as softball is concerned.

“It’s a much different approach the two sports have,” he explained. “On the basketball court, I’m more like Tom Izzo. I’m more intense, and that’s how I’ve always been. Taking it easy or coaching in a different way isn’t something I could do. But with softball, it’s not as intense, physically. I grew up on softball, and as long as they will have me here, I plan on being part of the program.”

As far as what he’ll miss this coming winter, though, Scislowicz said it’s more of the away-from-the-game stuff than anything.

“The off-court activities, those are the things that are going to be tough not being a part of,” he explained. “The activities the team organized, the things that really don’t have much to do with basketball, the life lessons away from the game that meant so much to me. The wins and losses took care of themselves. But the relationship we built with families and the girls, that’s where I think I was the strongest. That’s what I think I enjoyed the most about this.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.