Yale’s record breaking Brandon Sherrod is sad about the sudden resignation of his former high school coach, Paul Dudzinski; “Without him, there‘s no Stratford High basketball.”
By Joel Alderman
Amid the joy felt by Yale’s Brandon Sherrod over establishing a new NCAA i record Friday night for shooting 30 consecutive field goals without a miss, there is a bit of unhappiness mixed in due to a pair of events earlier in the week. One involved his high school coach, Paul Dudzinski, the other his talented sister, Chynna Sherrod.
Dudzinski, had been at Stratford for the past 20 years, the last 19 as head coach of the Red Devils. Sherrod was an All-Stater and Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010 under Dudzinski.
However, in a shock to state high school basketball fans, as well as to Sherrod, who has stayed close to the program, his former coach and mentor suddenly turned in his resignation this past Wednesday, without explanation.
“Sad” and “unfortunate” says Sherrod
“It’s sad that he had to resign,” Sherrod told the Connecticut Post. “I really can’t speak much on the situation, but it’s really unfortunate.”
“Without him, there‘s no Stratford High basketball,” he added.
Chynna and Brandon both made news last week
Brandon, now a delayed senior at Yale after a year off to sing on tour with the famed Whiffenpoofs, is from Bridgeport but went to school in Stratford. He has remained close to the basketball program, and just recently reportedly attended a game there with his 17-year old sister, Chynna, now a senior there.
Just like her brother, who made headlines for his streak of 30 straight baskets, Chynna had her moments of fame last week as she survived two cuts in the American Idol competition.
Dudzinski has them guessing
In an email Dudzinski sent to league coaches and executives on the same day he resigned, he gave no hint as to for why he is leaving.
“Guys” he wrote, “it is with much regret that I send this message to you, I went to school at 3pm today to pick up something at the main office and I was pulled into the principal’s office…During that meeting I decided it was best for me and the program for me to resign my position immediately. I wish you all the best and it breaks my heart that I will not be continuing my tenure at Stratford High.”
His Red Devils won CIAC championships in 2008 (Class M) and 2010 (Class L). However, this has been a down year, currently only 4-10, and the team has been hard hit by injuries and suspensions. Those problems could have played into his decision to leave, or there could be more to it. So far, no one is saying.
Bob Baird, the school’s Athletic Director, told the Post it was a “personnel issue,” and that Dudzinski is “a great guy and he’s been a super coach.”
Obviously, Brandon Sherrod feels the same way.