As a student at St. Rita of Cascia School in Aurora, each fall for four years Joe Currie rode his bicycle to Marmion where he was a team manager for the football team.
He'll now be driving the bus for the Cadets varsity basketball team, figuratively if not literally as well.
The 1982 Marmion graduate was named head varsity coach earlier this month. The decision came not long after the resignation of Ryan Paradise, who after four seasons and a 53-61 record chose to operate his basketball development program, Basketball Paradise, full time.
A program assistant under former Marmion head basketball coaches Rob Scott, Michael Angelidis, Pat McNamara and Paradise, Currie has been the head sophomore coach the past three seasons.
Also a Cadets football assistant dating to the coaching tenure of Marmion principal Tony Tinerella in the early 2000s and throughout the current reign of Dan Thorpe, Currie's freshman football teams went undefeated in 2006 and 2013.
A Sugar Grove resident whose younger of two sons, Brandon, is a sophomore at Marmion, Currie's two older brothers attended the academy. His four sisters went to sister school Rosary. The basketball spot at his alma mater means a lot.
"Marmion has been a big part of my life since the mid-70s," Currie said. "Also, as an alumnus, to be able to come back and be able to work with not only the kids here but at the school, I take great pride in that. I'm humbled for the opportunity that they've given me. I feel very privileged and honored to do this for them."
Currie has also coached at Waubonsee Community College, grade-school and youth program levels, and began coaching at Marmion in 1994.
"He has been part of the Marmion coaching family for many years and has always been successful," stated athletic director Joe Chivari in an email to the Daily Herald.
Currie said he and Paradise see basketball similarly.
"Ryan and I had a lot of the same philosophies," Currie said. "I like an up-tempo game and I stress defense a lot. One thing I always thought our teams did was play defense very well. I think our kids enjoy fast-paced rather than slow-it-down."
Seniors Jordan Glasgow and Jake Esp and junior Matt Fletcher will be the core of Currie's first varsity squad, which he eventually hopes to lead to regional titles and beyond. Last season the Cadets went 15-15 and lost a 62-60 thriller to Kaneland in the Class 3A Kaneland regional championship.
"I'm real excited about it," Currie said of the opportunity. "I was fortunate that Ryan brought me back, and Ryan did a great job here building the program and getting them to certain levels, and I'm looking forward to build on that and get them to where the program has been moving."