WALLINGFORD — Nick Economopoulos has a past in Connecticut girls basketball. He is one of the winningest coaches in the sport.
Turns out, he still has a future in the game. After three years away from coaching, the Wallingford resident is returning to the sidelines. This winter, the 64-year-old Economopoulos is taking up the reins of the Coginchaug girls basketball team.
“My son (Jim) graduated from Albertus Magnus and I took off three years from coaching to watch him play,” Economopoulos said. “It’s going to be a long winter and I had to find a place to coach. I saw the opening at Coginchaug and I jumped at it.”
The Durham school returns a strong collection of players from the team that won the Class S title in 2012. It was a job that was attractive to a coach who has amassed over 600 wins in girls basketball.
“Not only do they have a strong program, but it’s only five miles from my house,” Economopoulos said.
Economopoulos spent 20 years coaching the Lyman Hall girls basketball team. He later headed the East Catholic girls hoops team for 13 years.
Economopoulos oversaw five state championship appearances in his tenure at LH, which spanned from 1974 to 1993. The coach guided the Trojans to consecutive Class L state titles in 1985 and 1986. He left Lyman Hall for East Catholic with a 371-101 record.
Economopoulos spent 13 seasons at East Catholic and won Class M state titles in 2002 and 2004.
During his three-year high school coaching hiatus, Economopoulos continued to don the whistle for the Connecticut Starters AAU team, a program he’s long been involved with, and he watched his son finish his basketball career at Albertus Magnus in New Haven.
“I love teaching the sport,” Economopoulos said. “I just love it and it’s going to fun to be back in it. I love the chemistry of putting together a team and working with it. My goal is to turn out the best product and grow it.”
Economopoulos and Coginchaug begin their season on Wednesday in Bridgeport against Kolbe Cathedral.
Wilcox Tech girls basketball coach Scott Medeiros coached as an assistant under Economopoulos at East Catholic for 10 seasons.
“He’s a great guy that I learned a lot from,” Medeiros said. “He breaks things down and is a great teacher of the game. He’s big on fundamentals and is a great coach.”