Coming off the Woodstock girls basketball team's second regional title since 1990, Marty Hammond was looking forward to continuing to coach the Blue Streaks and build off that success.
However, Hammond was informed last Wednesday by athletic director Glen Wilson that Woodstock would be going in a different direction and would not renew his contract. Hammond said he was "very surprised" by their decision.
"I felt our program was heading in the right direction, especially winning the regional title," Hammond said. "We were virtually competitive in nearly every single game."
When Hammond met with Wilson last Wednesday, he was given the option of resigning. Hammond felt that, if he resigned, he would be sending the wrong message to his players and their parents because he wanted to stay. Instead, Woodstock chose to not renew his contract.
"I felt like I would be lying to a lot of the kids," Hammond said of not resigning. "I didn't want to resign, I wanted to still coach. ... The decision was going to be made no matter what, but I felt I did not want to resign."
With the work his team had put in the past summer, Hammond felt his team was going reap the benefits from that hard work. Although the Blue Streaks' 11-19 wasn't what they had hoped for, the numerous close losses turned into wins as they competed in the playoffs.
While his time at Woodstock is over, Hammond hopes to coach again. Right now, though, he's taking a step back and waiting to see what happens. Hammond said his relationships with his players will be a lasting takeaway from his time at Woodstock.
"I think the kids enjoyed playing for me, and I believe they gave me everything they could possibly give," Hammond said. "Just because we didn't have the talent didn't mean they weren't giving me 100 percent on the court."
Hammond spent the last seven years as the head coach Blue Streaks, compiling a 75-122 record during that span. Woodstock put together an impressive postseason run this year as a No. 5 seed to win a regional title, which was only the program's fourth overall.
The Blue Streaks have struggled the past three seasons, however, going 22-60 overall and 4-32 in Fox Valley Conference Fox Division play.
Wilson said the team was notified this week and after spring break the job will be posted and they'll begin the process of looking for candidates.
"I've known Marty for more than a decade and immensely respect what he's done," Wilson said. "We felt it was time for a new voice for the program."
- Joe Stevenson contributed to this report.