THOMASTON – Brian Mozelak has always been a winner so teaming up with one of the winningest basketball programs in the state over the last 15 years seems a natural.
Mozelak was officially appointed as the new Thomaston High girls basketball coach this week replacing Bob McMahon who ended a legendary 19-year stint this summer, resigning to spend more time watching his two sons and daughter play high school ball in Bristol.
The 49-year old Mozelak is a familiar face, having been the Bears’ JV coach for the past four seasons and coaching extensively in the town’s travel basketball program. But Bears fans and the area knew him long before he hooked with the high school program on a coaching level.
A 1991 Thomaston High graduate, Mozelak led the Bears to soaring heights, leading coach Muffy Gomes’ teams to back-to-back BL and Class state titles in 1990 and 1991,while posting a record of 50-2 and winning a 49 games in a row. Mozelak earned All-State honors both years along with the MVP honors in the 1991 championship game. He is Thomaston’s all-time leading scorer with 1,614 points and played at Salisbury Prep after graduation.
“We’re really excited to have him as our next head coach,” said Thomaston A.D. Aaron Bunel.
“He carries a tremendous legacy in school and has a great pedigree in the game. His basketball acumen is incredibly high. Plus him being with Bobby the last couple of years gives us continuity and direction going into the season. He saw and helped with the preparation with championship teams. “
Mozelak was not expecting to be in the head seat this season but is ready for the challenge.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” he said. “I wanted to continue with Bob. But I’m excited to step in the role. I started with (2022 graduated) Emma Sanson’s group so I have seen the progression and know where we are.”
Mozelak is aware he is stepping into a unique situation. McMahon built a Berkshire League dynasty, winning nine BL and eight BL Tournament titles in the last 13 years while winning three Class S state titles and going to the championship game six times, five times in a row at one point (2012-2016) The Bears are currently the defending Class S champs and three-time defending BL champs.
“You never want to be the guy who replaces the guy, you want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaced the guy,” Mozelak chuckled. “There are a lot eyes on our program. But I know I am not stepping into a program where the cabinet is empty. There are CIAC expectations and these kids know what it is like to play under the big lights it’s not my job to create a winning program, it’s to maintain a winning program.”
Thomaston, led by juniors Nicole Decker and Ava Harkness, is expected to contend for honors again this season.
While Mozelak hardly started coaching to be McMahon’s protégé, he did learn from the guy who got it done.
“I learned from Bob,” Mozelak said. “I learned how to motivate the team. You break them down in December and build them up so they can hit the ground running in the post-season. It was good to watch him.”
And his message for the team which will start practicing shortly after Thanksgiving.
“My message is that the bar doesn’t get lower, it gets higher. “
McMahon knows the Bears are in good hands.
“Brian is the school’s all-time leading scorer, a former NCAA student-athlete and has been around the program for 20 years,” said McMahon. “He’s more than ready and capable to lead Thomaston basketball.”
The Bears have found their man.