East Lake boys basketball coach Joe Bloznalis, who had been battling stage 3 lung cancer, has stepped down after 19 seasons.
Blozanlis compiled 254 wins and guided the program to six playoff appearances. Britt Taylor, an assistant, has been promoted to head coach.
“I had been thinking about it for the last week,” Bloznalis said. “I really needed the time for rest and recovery. For once in my life I have to be selfish and get myself healthy.”
In April 2013, Bloznalis was diagnosed with lung cancer. He went through chemotherapy and returned in time to coach last season. But he still felt fatigued.
“I wanted to get back last season because I was so eager to get into a routine,” Bloznalis said. “But I wasn’t 100 percent and it was tough getting through the whole season. Coaching is a grind. It’s an 18-hour day. I didn’t know if I could do that again and get back to where I needed to be.”
Bloznalis will continue to teach at East Lake and said he could return to coaching by next season.
“I don’t know exactly where, but I’ll be back,” Bloznalis said.