Colleen Backer announced Thursday she will not return to coach the St. Charles North girls basketball team next year.
Backer, the North Stars' coach the past four years, told her coaches of her decision last Thursday and informed her players Monday.
A graduate of Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Backer has coached basketball the past 14 years. She came to St. Charles North from Charleston, South Carolina.
Her first team at St. Charles North nearly upset an undefeated Geneva team in the regional finals, losing in the final seconds when future Division I Vikings Kat Yelle and Lauren Wicinski (in volleyball) connected for the winning basket.
"This was an unbelievably difficult decision for me as you can imagine and I have many mixed emotions about it," Backer wrote in an email.
Backer will continue teaching special eduction at St. Charles North and being involved in basketball within the St. Charles community.
Backer said there was "no drama" involved in her decision to step down -- just that the hours the job demands make it impossible to do everything else she wants to in her life. Backer got married last year.
"I moved here from the East Coast and maintaining my relationships and extended life there in some way, and balancing being married to a wonderful husband with a new amazing family, trying to be an effective special education teacher, learning to be a great wife, family member, and teacher while maintaining some of my own identity and growing as a person are just not possible while being a head coach of a program for me right now," Backer said.
Backer will continue as the acting coach for the program as they transition to a new head coach to make it as smooth as possible for the players. She also will be conducting clinics for the St. Charles feeder program for the next few weeks.
Backer also said you can expect to find her at many games next winter cheering and supporting the North Stars.
"The girls in the varsity program this year are just an amazing group, and many of them are so young and talented," Backer said. "I believe this is the perfect timing to make this decision as we have had two building years and the earlier the girls are able to develop a relationship with a new coach the better as I truly believe they will make significant progress next year and the year after. I just love these girls and love to be around them and love the game of basketball."