Pazanin takes charge of IVC girls basketball

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers

A new coach will be taking the lead for the IVC High School varsity girls basketball team.

Martin Pazanin, a Bradley graduate and two-year varsity coach at Champaign Central High School will be leading the Lady Grey Ghosts starting this upcoming season.

Pazanin will also be teaching at IVC High School as a special education instructor.

“I wasn’t really expecting it. A couple of my coaching friends said to me, ‘You should probably look into this,’” Pazanin said.

“I talked to Dan Camp and the special education coordinator and I just loved everything about it. It wasn’t just a basketball decision.”

Pazanin graduated Bradley in 2009 and started his head coaching career at Champaign Central in 2012.

In his two seasons at Champaign Central Pazanin led the Maroons to a 31-23 regular season record and was 20-12 in the Big 12 Conference. Pazanin brought the Maroons as high as 13th in the state in 3A girls basketball.

Apart from high school basketball coaching, Pazanin is also coaching the Illinois Pizazz Amateur Athletic Union girls basketball program out of Normal and the Heart of Illinois AAU program out of Peoria.

Pazanin is preceded by the IVC girls head coach Marc Lowe, 2012-14, who left with 16 wins over two seasons.

Pazanin said he is looking forward to working with the IVC girls and the program was already underway with the Illinois Central College girls basketball summer league at the Cougar Plex with surrounding area teams.

“I just have the feeling that so many of these kids want to do well and want to learn and that’s part of why I’m excited. Just the fact that two of the girls here are freshmen, that’s something that I don’t think a lot of programs have,” Pazanin said.

The upperclassman will be playing a key role in this year’s program.

“Our upperclassmen guards are really quick,” Pazanin said.

“Once we get a little more organized, scoring will come a little more naturally to us.”

The girls will also be effective on the defensive side of the court Pazanin said.

“Defensively we’ll be very good. Just from the quickness standpoint, they’re very physical and aggressive,” Pazanin said.

The IVC High School athletic program will be entering the Corn Belt Conference this year and Pazanin’s experience with schools in the conference will help bring knowledge to the IVC girls team.

Pazanin has worked with the Prairie Central coach and the IVC girls have played against Eureka already in the ICC summer league.

“I know a lot about the girls and the coaches,” Pazanin said.

The IVC girls have already shown improvement Pazanin said.

“I’ve already seen a lot of positive change in the girls,” Pazanin said.

“We’ve just go to continue to build and I’ve had a lot of fun so far.”