Laura Discenza has stepped down as varsity girls basketball coach at Stratford, after one season, to take over the program at Lauralton Hall, her alma mater. (Photo by John Nash)

Discenza steps down from Stratford girls hoop job to return to alma mater

STRATFORD—Laura Discenza knew in her heart that there were only two jobs that would force her to leave Stratford High School after just one season as girls varsity basketball coach.

The first was her alma mater Lauralton Hall.

“It’s the only job I would have left for, unless (UConn) Coach (Geno) Auriemma was calling,” Discenza said.

Instead, it was Lauralton Hall calling and Discenza made the tough decision to leave the Red Devils after just one year as varsity head coach for her dream job.

“It was definitely by no means an easy decision,” Discenza said on Wednesday, confirming she had resigned from Stratford. “It’s such a special group of girls and they came so far this year.”

The lure of her alma mater, where she is also the varsity volleyball coach, was too much to pass up.

“Being back at my alma mater, I dreamed of having this position since I played there,” she said. “It means the world to me, to be able to be back in that gym and continue on with that tradition. It’s something really special.”

The Red Devils qualified for the Class L playoffs for the first time in two years this winter, posting a 7-14 mark.

The team only had three seniors for much of the season, with one leaving toward the end of the campaign.

“She did a tremendous job this year,” Stratford athletic director Tony DeAngelo said. “It kind of stinks from our standpoint. She did such a tremendous job with the girls.”

Discenza, who had previously been an assistant volleyball coach at Stratford, said it was the Red Devil players that made her year inside the Needham Gym so special.

“On and off the court, they’re such a great group of kids,” she said. “They’re excited to play for each other. They have such a great mentality.”

DeAngelo said the position should be posted within a week.

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