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St. John the Baptist hires Commack's Bruce Haller to coach girls basketball

Bruce Haller, Suffolk girls basketball Coach of the

Bruce Haller, Suffolk girls basketball Coach of the Year, was named head coach at St. John the Baptist. (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

Bruce Haller, the 2013 Newsday Suffolk coach of the year in girls basketball with Commack, was hired by St. John the Baptist for the same position, SJB Athletic Director Lorraine Bouklas announced in a press release, Wednesday.

Haller, who had coached five years at Commack and previously spent 11 years as a boys coach at Valley Stream North, replaces Ted Oberg, who had been the coach at SJB since 2000, according to Bouklas.

“I’m excited,” Haller said. “It’s a great challenge and a great opportunity. I’m really looking forward to becoming part of the St. John the Baptist family and the challenge of continuing their tradition of excellence.”

Said Bouklas: “He’s the person for the job. He seems to have a lot of wonderful recommendations that he came with, he’s an educator, a family man and has all the things fit for St. John the Baptist.”

This past season, Haller led Commack to a 16-3 record that earned the team a No. 5 seed in the Suffolk AA playoffs, where it eventually fell to top-seeded North Babylon in the semifinals.

SJB finished 15-12 and lost in a NSCHSAA semifinal to St. Anthony’s and then in the first round of the CHSAA state championships to Bishop Ford.

Oberg had led SJB to two CHSAA state championships in 2007 and 2008 and won six NSCHSAA league titles, including five consecutive crowns from 2004-2008, according to Bouklas.

“Ted was a great coach and we had a lot of success, but I think it was time for him to go in one direction and us to go in another direction,” Bouklas said. “[Haller] now has an opportunity to be here and he seems very excited about it… When I read his résumé it was a no-brainer to bring him in for an interview and then to hire him.”