Helias High School wasted little time filling its boys basketball head-coaching position.
Joe Rothweiler was introduced as the Crusaders' next head coach Wednesday morning, less than a week following the surprise resignation of Josh Buffington.
"In this time of unexpected transition, we are delighted Coach Rothweiler accepted our offer," Helias president Fr. Stephen Jones said in a press release. "He is a Catholic educator who brings an immense amount of knowledge and experience to this position. He knows the system, the players, and the culture of our school and community. We are confident he will continue the tradition of excellence which has come to be associated with Helias Catholic Basketball."
Rothweiler served as an assistant coach every season during Buffington's 10-year tenure at Helias. Shortly following his resignation, Buffington made it a point to put his full support behind Rothweiler being named as his successor.
"We talk about a lot of different things, and he's talked a little bit about maybe stepping aside and turning it over to me at times here and there, but I never thought it was coming this quick," Rothweiler said. "That said, I'm ready and it feels good to step into a new role."
Both Rothweiler and Buffington are originally from Hannibal, and Rothweiler played under Buffington when he was an assistant coach at Missouri Baptist University.
When Buffington became head coach at Helias, the two reunited again.
"Ten years ago around this time is when he called me a position to come coach with him," Rothweiler said. "Ever since that time, we've been very close, very good friends. We spend a lot of time together on and off the court. It's been a great 10 years.
"There have been times when I maybe considered going to look for a head-coaching job, but the coaching camaraderie we had and the chemistry we had together always prevented me from doing that."
Rothweiler broke the news to most of Helias' returning players Wednesday morning.
"They seemed excited," he said. "I know a lot of them had mentioned to me in the past week that they hoped I could move into that role."
Rothweiler believes a promotion from within should make for an easy transition for the players, especially with summer basketball just days away.
"We start camp on May 29, and that's a big time for us," Rothweiler said. "We hit it running from there."
Zach Rockers, who was an assistant coach this past season with the Father Tolton boys basketball team, will take Rothweiler's spot as Helias' head varsity assistant coach for the 2018-19 season.
"He's going to do a fantastic job," Rothweiler said. "We've missed him over the last couple of years with him being at Tolton and he did a fantastic job there.
"The kids that are playing for us now grew up watching Zach. He's going to have a great relationship and he's a very good role model for our players."
In addition, Rothweiler said Floyd Davis will go from freshman head coach to being a varsity assistant, while Garrett Wiggans will take over as freshman head coach.
It will be another six months before Rothweiler makes his head-coaching debut, but he said he's ready for the new role.
"I like the challenge of sliding over one seat, because it's definitely going to be different," Rothweiler said.
Rothweiler has been the athletic director and a physical education teacher the past three years at St. Joseph Cathedral School. He and his wife, Lindsay, have two sons, Jaden and Keegan.