In a surprising move, Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach Chad Stelse resigned last week, citing personal reasons for his decision to step down with three weeks remaining in the regular season.
Patrick McCabe, who joined Stelse's staff prior to this season, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Assistant coach Ed Raue will also stay on.
Stelse compiled a 54-79 record and a 38-47 mark in Woodland Conference play in nearly six seasons as head coach at Tosa West, taking over the program prior to the 2011-12 season. He led the Trojans to the regional championship game in 2015, which included an upset of top-seeded Pius XI.
His last game coaching was a 96-78 loss to Brown Deer on Jan. 31. McCabe guided Tosa West during a 51-48 loss to Whitnall on Feb. 3, which dropped the Trojans to 9-8 overall and 5-5 in the Woodland West.
"I decided to step down at this time due to personal reasons," Stelse told WauwatosaNow. "West's administration has been nothing but supportive and understanding of my decision to step away from the program. I want to specifically thank (Tosa West principal Frank) Calarco and athletic director Jeff Gabrielsen for their unwavering support of me and the Tosa West boys basketball program over the last 12 years that I have been there.
"The program is in great hands with coach Pat McCabe and coach Ed Raue, and I feel that stepping away now is the best move for the team. I am confident they will continue to be dedicated and committed to moving the program in a positive direction, and I wish the team well for the remainder of the season. I will always have fond memories of leading the Trojan Family and will cherish those memories forever."
Stelse spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Tosa West before being named head coach, including four under the late Mike Landisch. He went 5-1 as interim coach at the conclusion of the 2010 regular season when Landisch took a leave of absence after being diagnosed with cancer.
After Landisch did not have his contract renewed following the 2010-11 season, Stelse was elevated to head coach.
Tosa West went 8-38 and 7-20 in the Woodland Conference in Stelse's first two years in charge. The Trojans improved to 13-10 and 11-5 in league play in 2013-14, their best marks under Stelse.
After downing rival Wauwatosa East on Jan. 7, Tosa West sat at 7-3 overall. The Trojans have fallen in five of seven since and have dropped five of their last six conference games.