Marty Towey did not take the usual path to obtaining the position of head coach of the Archbishop Molloy girls’ varsity basketball team. Outside of some youth organizations, Towey had never been a head coach before signing on with the Briarwood schoo
A retired FBI agent who spent 26 years in bureau — including about the last 12 years working special operations in the foreign counterintelligence field — Towey was a mystery to his own family.
The 50-year-old Floral Park resident cut his basketball teeth at St. Ann’s in Flushing at the former Bishop Reilly High School in Fresh Meadows. But he didn’t start coaching until his children began playing 16 years ago for Our Lady of Victory.
As a CYO coach, Towey found success immediately, winning five straight championships. Even after his children left the program, Towey decided to stay and run the organization until getting the itch for bigger and better things.
Towey contacted Nassau Community College coach George Bruns and volunteered his services as a non-paid assistant. Bruns accepted and Towey spent three years with the program, leading to his applying for and accepting the Molloy job.
Towey coached the 2001 Molloy junior varsity team in the first year the school had permitted girls to attend. The all-freshmen team finished with a 23-1 record and a championship in the junior varsity ‘B’ division.
“We decided to field a JV team even though we only had freshmen,” Towey said. “We wanted to jump in and get our feet wet and figured we would hold our own.”
Last year the team tried the varsity ‘A’ level with a fair amount of success, finishing 13-12, and losing to Mary Louis by one point in the playoffs.
This year Molloy leapfrogged Class D and went straight to the ‘C’. It was a gamble that paid off. The team finished 22-8 and won the CHSAA state title, besting Notre Dame by 17 and capturing the state Federation Class C crown with a victory over South Seneca.
“The kids really matured a lot in a year,” Towey said. “That’s what made us a better team. When we won the whole thing it was kind of surreal to me. It kind of took a couple of days for it to set in.”
The state Federation title was the first of its kind for the school, Towey said, and one he could not have achieved without the help of assistants Kevin McBride and Tom Catalanotto.
‘These two guys are probably the two best assistant coaches anyone could have in the city,” Towey said. “Whatever I don’t see, they’ll certainly pick up.”