Chris Mahoney certainly made his mark during his tenure at Oriskany High School.
Mahoney is relocating to the Albany area and is resigning as Oriskany’s head basketball coach after an impressive five-year run that featured a state title in 2016.
Another factor in the decision was the birth of his first child (McKenna) on March 5. Mahoney has made the move more permanent after commuting from the Albany-Guilderland area over the last few months.
“I kind of knew going into the season that’s going to be my last,” Mahoney said. “It’s good to leave the program on a good note and the next coach can come in and take it from here.”
Mahoney posted an impressive 89-26 mark over his five seasons, which was highlighted by a 27-0 mark in 2016 that ended with a magical run to the New York State Class D title. The Redskins also reached the sectional finals in his first two seasons and made it to the semifinals in each of the past two.
Despite earning the program its first-ever state title, Mahoney will remember the process and the people more than the victories.
“Honestly the bonds I’ve built with the kids is what I’ll remember,” Mahoney said. “Wins and losses are great but the lifelong friendships I’ll have with the players, parents and the community is something we’ll always have. The friendships you have last a lifetime. Everyone will remember the wins we had that year, but the time spent with the players at practice or at team dinners is what I’ll remember most.”
Oriskany is just beginning the process of finding their new head coach, but Mahoney believes they are in a good place moving forward.
“We continued to build with what Bob Reid did,” Mahoney said of his predecessor. “We took it to next step and I know they will continue to build from the youth program on up. They do a great job with the program and it is special what they have and the time they’re willing to put in with the kids.”
One of his star pupils wass Ricky Phelps, who was the team’s sixth man as a sophomore during the Redskins run to the state title. Phelps grew from that role to the leader of the team over the past two seasons.
“He’s been a role model for me the last three years,” Phelps said. “He’s taught me so much on the court and off. He taught me to be respectful and to win and lose with class. For the program he’s accomplished more than anyone in school history in just five years and that’s due to his dedication to us and the community. He wanted to build something strong and earn some respect for Oriskany and I believe he accomplished that.”
Now it’s on to the next step in his coaching journey. After taking a little time off, Mahoney expects to eventually get back into coaching at some level. Which sport may be the bigger question.
“Once things calm down I will look at it and maybe get back into basketball … or maybe baseball which was kind of my first love,” Mahoney said.