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The Rockford School District announced new coaches at Guilford and Jefferson - and both were somewhat surprising.

Guilford's new basketball coach will be Antonio Maestranzi (pictured left). He's an unknown locally. He played high school basketball at Bartlett, four years at Northern Illinois University before playing professionally in Europe for three years.

More recently, he has been an assistant coach at Aurora Marmion, an AAU coach and an instructor at Chicago-area skills camps. Most likely, Maestranzi was chosen at the recommendation of former Rock Valley College and NIU coach Carl Armato. Armato was an assistant at NIU while Maestranzi played there and it was announced that Armato would remain as an assistant at Guilford under Maestranzi.

Jefferson's new coach will be John Rossato, who has been the J-Hawks sophomore coach since 2010. Rossato is an assistant principal and a former head baseball coach at Jefferson. The J-Hawks are coming off a season where the varsity set a school record with 26 wins and Rossato coached the sophomores to a NIC-10 title at 15-1.

Considering that Jefferson's program under Todd Brannan progressed to being one of the strongest in the NIC-10, it made sense to hire from within. Rossato though was chosen over varsity assistant and Jefferson alumni Chris Dixon. Dixon was the assistant to Brannan for the past 10 years. Dixon posted on his Facebook page that he was disappointed and won't be returning. The school district was in a tough position. The J-Hawks coaching staff was one of the tightest in the NIC-10 and likely to break up no matter which way they went.

Brannan, also a Jefferson graduate, resigned the J-Hawks job to take the boys coaching position at Belvidere North. Brannan has three basketball playing sons in the North system.

Year

Auburn

East

Guilford

Jefferson

1999-2000

7-20

20-11

22-7

22-6

2000-2001

7-20

11-18

22-8

17-13

2001-2002

13-14

14-16

12-17

16-13

2002-2003

13-15

11-15

10-18

13-13

2003-2004

9-20

5-22

4-24

20-7

2004-2005

13-17

2-25

7-22

23-10

2005-2006

9-17

6-21

24-9

4-22

2006-2007

16-10

1-23

23-7

5-23

2007-2008

20-8

9-19

6-23

9-19

2008-2009

21-9

4-25

10-19

20-8

2009-2010

18-9

5-23

12-15

22-8

2010-2011

26-5

19-12

10-18

9-19

2011-2012

31-2

20-11

7-20

12-15

2012-2013

17-12

17-11

3-22

19-13

2013-2014

28-6

13-14

8-20

18-13

2014-2015

29-2

15-16

3-24

23-9

2015-2016

25-8

10-20

4-22

16-15

2016-2017

17-12

14-16

3-24

18-14

2017-2018

20-12

20-11

11-17

26-7