Loudis has tough act to follow at Schenectady
As an assistant coach at two different area programs for the last six years, Eric Loudis learned his craft from some of the best basketball minds in Section II history.
Now, the 28-year-old son of Schenectady City School District Hall of Famer Joe Loudis will get the opportunity to prove he has what it takes to run his own program.
Loudis was named the new head coach at Schenectady High School at Wednesday’s board of education meeting. He will replace Mark Sausville, who resigned last month for personal reasons.
Loudis, who grew up watching his father record 428 victories at both Cohoes and
Mechanicville, served as an assistant to his dad at Mechanicville from 2005 through 2007. The Schenectady High math teacher had been Sausville’s assistant coach since 2007.
“I was completely excited, thrilled and overwhelmed when I first heard the news,” said Loudis, who played his scholastic basketball at Cohoes and Catholic Central. “I can’t wait to get started. Mark taught me a lot. I know the system. I know what to expect.”
Schenectady finished 11-9 a year ago, losing to Shenendehowa in the quarterfinals of the Section II Class AA tournament. Sausville posted a career record of 198-75 in 12 seasons at Schenectady. His 2000-01 team captured the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A title and tied the Section II record with 28 victories. During an eight-year run under Sausville, the Patriots won 161 games and lost just 27.
Loudis knows there will be immediate pressure to succeed.
“There are some huge shoes to fill,” he said. “I know what coaching is all about. I grew up with my father being such an outstanding coach, and I’ve seen first-hand what Mark has done with this program. I’ve got a lot to prove. There will be some naysayers, and I would love to prove them wrong. Even though I wasn’t the coach of the team, I’ve run the summer league at Schenectady for the last three years, and I know what we have coming back.”
Loudis believes his Patriots, competing in the powerful Big 10, will be competitive.
“CBA will be good, along with Albany, Amsterdam and Bishop Maginn. We can still be competitive. We lack height, but we’ll be very athtetic and quick. If we can play hard defense, we can compete. I will stress defense, defense and more defense with this team.”
Loudis said his coaching style is a little different than both his legendary father and Sausville.
“I won’t be a zone defense coach or a man-to-man defense coach all the time. It will depend on my opponent,” he said. “I’m a little more of a laid-back coach in a sense, but when it comes to game time, you won’t see that laid-back personality. But I would say there are more similarities than differences between me and the head coaches I’ve worked with before.”
In a press release, Schenectady
City School District assistant
director of athletics Steve Boynton said that Loudis’ youth won’t be a problem, especially considering the coaches he has learned from in the last few seasons.
“He has had a very impressive internship from the time he could walk under the Hall of Fame coach, who is his father,” said Boynton. “I have very high expectations for the basketball program, as I do all our athletic programs.”
Loudis will focus on fundamentals and preparation.
“Come to practice ready and play hard,” he said. “We are going to come out and surprise people. Before the end of the season, they are going to know Schenectady basketball.”
Loudis is counting the days until his team can begin practice.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “I will work extremely hard to get ready. I’m looking forward to watching the kids play. I’ve got a good relationship with our players. As long as they buy into what I’’m teaching and listen to what I say, they will be fine. All I ask is that they pay attention, and if they do, I think we can get Schenectady back to the elite status it was just a few years ago.”