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With a career record of 134-115, Black Hawk Coach Darren Bizarri prepares for his 9th season on the Black Hawk bench. The Braves are coming off a 17-14 record and a second place finish in the Arrowhead Conference while relying on a core group of freshmen, the Braves are looking to continue to improve in 2015-16.
“It’s unusual to return as many sophomores are we are for this upcoming season,” Bizarri said. “It’s a testament to both the caliber of player we have and the caliber of young men we have that the players are coming back as sophomores looking to earn their degrees in the classroom and achieve their goals on the floor.”
On March 30, 2007, Black Hawk College tabbed Darren Bizarri to lead its basketball program as head men’s basketball coach. After a very successful inaugural season — which concluded with a 20-12 overall record, 9-3 conference record (second place) and a Region IV runner-up — the Braves upped the ante in 2008-09, posting a 23-8 record. Those two seasons marked a milestone in Black Hawk College basketball history the Braves have posted back to back 20 win seasons. The 2009-10 season marked another milestone for the Braves as their 19-13 record meant it was the first time the Black Hawk program had posted three consecutive winning seasons. With a record of 18-15, the 2010-11 season made it four consecutive winning seasons for Coach Bizarri.
“Over the years, we have established how I like to have teams play, which is to get up and down the floor and put pressure on teams both offensively and defensively,” he said. “We know it’s important to be versatile and that construct our roster through recruiting to be able to play different styles.”
Throughout the seasons, one of the hallmark’s of a Bizarri coached team is the number of different players the Braves employ throughout the game.
“I’m a firm believer that the key to sustained success isn’t in having the strongest five on a given night, but being stronger 1-12 and wearing opponents down,” Bizarri said. “Part of our style is using our bench with the idea that throughout the course of the game, we will use our roster and put our players in roles where they can succeed. If you are on the bench in our program, you better be ready, because you’re going to get an opportunity to help the team succeed.”
Bizarri is no stranger to Black Hawk College or the Quad-Cities basketball scene. For six seasons before committing to lead the Braves, Bizarri served as the sophomore basketball coach at Western Big Six power Moline High School, compiling a 101-34 record on the sophomore level and assisting the varsity in winning four conference titles and two trips to the State Finals.
Before serving the 2000-01 season as a varsity assistant at Rock Island Alleman High School, Bizarri led the Westmer High School basketball program for five seasons. While coaching at the high school and college level, Bizarri has been active coaching AAU basketball also, running the highly successful Illinois Gunner’s program 1998-2004 and coaching in the Quad City Elite AAU program 2013-15.
“I just love coaching kids and watching them improve,” Bizarri said. “High school, College, AAU, the game doesn’t change and the same principles allow you to succeed at any level.”
As a player, Bizarri was a point guard for the Braves for two seasons (1987-88 and 1988-89), serving as team captain and leading the team in assists his sophomore season. He played high school basketball at Rockridge High School, earning All-Conference and All-Area honors as a senior.
Coach Bizarri and his family reside in the Illinois Quad Cities.
He is assisted by assistant coaches Dennis Kerschieter and Keith Sutton.
Last updated 8/11/2015