Bishop Noll boys basketball coach Drew Trost is looking forward to returning home to Salt Lake City, where he accepted the coaching position at Juan Diego Catholic High School, making the announcement on Thursday afternoon.
There is great skiing, outdoor sportsmanship and a post-card like atmosphere in the Utah of Trost's youth.
But he is going to miss dearly the smokestacks, industrial pollution and blue-collar dirty streets that helped make his Warriors a power in region basketball over the past decade.
"I want to bring the toughness that the basketball players in Northwest Indiana have with me," Trost said. "I think that's what makes this place so special. There is a lot of talent here, but there is a mental toughness also that a lot of places don't have.
"I want to take that with me to my new job."
Trost was 129-57 in eight years in North Hammond. The highlight was in March of 2011 when he guided the Warriors to the Class 2A state championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The 43-42 loss to Indianapolis Park Tudor was the high-mark in Trost's run at Noll. But it was something else, too.
"It will probably haunt me for the rest of my life," said Trost, referring to his team's shot at the buzzer that fell out when it just as easily could've rolled the other way and made him a state champion.
Trost likened his new gig to that of downstate Guerin Catholic. Juan Diego has 900 students, a brand new state-of-the-art facility and a new coach who is thankful for his opportunity in the region.
"I would like to thank the BNI community for taking a chance on me eight years ago and hiring me to be the head coach at such a young age," Trost said. "My wife and I have enjoyed our time here and will truly miss the BNI Family. I am very proud of the program we have built here and the success we have had. I hope that they will hire one of my excellent assistants Howard Ullrich, Javier Heridia, and Josh Belloumini. They were all a huge part of the success we had."
Trost's wife is also from Salt Lake City. Their children's grandparents are still there. So this move is a lot more important than just basketball.
"It's home," Trost said. "We wanted our children to have a relationship with their grandparents. We're excited about this opportunity and we're looking forward to it."
Trost will remain at Noll until the end of this school year.