Tony Bisutti is happy to be “back in the game” that has been such a big part of his life.
A two-time state high school boys basketball Coach of the Year, Bisutti stepped away from the sport at the end of the 2012-13 season after a run that included being Dublin Scioto’s first coach and more than 30 years of memories.
He’ll make his return next winter after accepting an offer July 11 to take over at Ready.
“The Ready thing just sort of happened,” Bisutti said. “There was a text, a conversation and everything fell into place. The longer I was out (of coaching), the more picky I got as far as if I was going to come back.”
Bisutti replaces Dan DeCrane, who stepped down June 18 after four seasons to become the coach at Gates Mills Gilmour Academy.
The Silver Knights went 44-50 under DeCrane. However, last winter they finished 20-5, earned a share of the CCL title for the first time since 2002 and were Division III district runners-up.
Bisutti, who teaches business education at Scioto, is returning to his Catholic school roots from a coaching aspect.
A 1979 DeSales graduate, he became an assistant at his alma mater in 1984-85. He served in that role for three seasons, including in 1986-87 when the Stallions won the Class AA state title under Vince Chickerella.
Bisutti took over the program the next season and guided it to an 84-49 mark in six seasons before serving a two-year stint at New Philadelphia.
When Scioto opened in 1995-96, Bisutti was named the Irish’s first coach. He held the position for the next 18 seasons and went 270-136, winning two district titles and six league championships while building his career record to 368-214.
Bisutti’s son, Antonio, is a 2013 Scioto graduate. He has two daughters, Stephanie and Christina, who graduated from Ready in 2006 and 2009, respectively.
While both of his daughters played basketball for the Knights, his son played under his father and completed his playing career last winter for Ohio University.
“My son was on the team at Ohio University so I traveled around with him the last few years, but all of a sudden there’s no more basketball,” Bisutti said. “I had several connections (with Ready) from when my daughters went to school there.
“I felt like (Ready is) a good fit. It’s not going to be without some challenges since I’m still teaching in Dublin, but I think the work ethic of the kids there is great and they’re always very receptive in general to coaching. It’s a roll-your-sleeves-up type of school, which is kind of where I started.”
Ready lost five players from last season to graduation, including a pair of 1,000-point scorers in Chanc Dawson and Brady Thomas. It expects to return a trio of key players in guards Cade Dent and Jaishan Norris and center Cade Canter.
Bisutti met with some of his players for the first time July 17, and the Knights held a pair of practices later in the week.
“He’s a really good coach,” Canter said. “I know he’s won more than 300 games (and is) more of an old-style coach.”