Sudler taking over as head coach of varsity girls’ basketball program at Milford High

MILFORD – After spending the last 10 years in New York, Eric Sudler has returned to his home state of Delaware.

Sudler, a 2002 Archmere Academy graduate, has been named the next varsity girls’ basketball coach at Milford High. He’ll be taking the reins over from former coach Leona White.

This fall, Sudler will also begin his new position as the school psychologist at Milford Central Academy.

“I was hired officially as the school psychologist, and then I heard there was an opening for the basketball coach position, so I sent in my resume and ended up being offered the position,” Sudler said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

Eric Sudler, the new head girls’ basketball coach of the Milford High Lady Bucs (Special to The Chronicle).

Upon graduation from Archmere in 2002, Sudler attended undergrad at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. He would then attend St. John’s University in New York.

“In 2008 I was admitted into a doctorate program at St. John’s University,” he said. “I was in New York from 2008 until now, so about a decade.”

Why the return to Delaware now?

“Family, better cost of living – New York is ridiculously expensive – plus my daughter was born almost exactly a year ago. When she was born, it was time to get out of that tiny apartment,” Sudler said, with a laugh.

At his previous employer – a therapeutic high school in Manahattan called Robert Louis Stevenson School – Sudler was also heavily involved as both the school psychologist and a basketball coach.

“It’s actually what I’m used to. At my previous job I worked in New York – although I was born and raised in Wilmington – it was the same thing, I was heavily involved in sports in addition to being the school psychologist,” he said.

“I was the head coach of the boys’ basketball program at my previous school and assistant coach of the girls’ basketball program at the school, so coaching sports has always been a part of my life. I’m very excited for the new opportunity.”

The Lady Bucs went 12-8 and made its fourth consecutive DIAA state tournament appearance in 2016-17 but finished the regular season with a record of 0-20 a season ago.

“This is not my first time coming into a program that didn’t have any wins. The girls’ team that I was an assistant coach with, in the first season I don’t think we won a single game. Then the next year we started out about 9-0,” said Sudler.

“My expectations aren’t ‘win, win win.’ My philosophy has always been the same as a player growing up and a coach over the past five years: having fun and learning. If you’re doing that, having fun and learning, the wins will come. I don’t want to add any pressure to these girls. The successful teams I’ve been a part of, there was never a hardcore pressure to “win, win, win, score, score, score.” It was to have fun and go out there and do what you’ve learned, set some individual goals for yourself and try to reach those goals and the wins will come.”

Sudler has been playing the game of basketball since he was five years old and got into coaching because he wanted

“I look back on the successes I’ve had and it was always a huge part of my life and I just wanted to share that with the students,” he said of his reason for getting into coaching. “Sports always offered a balance for me, particularly basketball, and I just always wanted to kind of share that with everyone.”

Kevin Barkley will stay on as Sudler’s assistant this season.

The girls will get the 2018-19 regular season underway Friday, Nov. 30 against Laurel High.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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