No person has impacted Illinois High School Basketball more than Chuck Rolinski.
The highly respected Rolinski is a coaching icon and the “Father of the Two-Class Basketball State Tournament” in Illinois. Chuck was the primary organizer of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and served as its president from 1971-1974. His passion and vision led the IBCA to become a leader in Illinois in serving its basketball coaches, players, teams, and communities.
As a result of Coach Rolinski’s efforts, we have IBCA All-Star Games, All-State Teams, Coaching Clinics throughout the state, Coach of the Year Awards, Academic All-State Teams, and our crown jewel, The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Banquet. Through Chuck’s vision, the IBCA recognizes and honors Players, Coaches, Teams, Officials, Media, and Friends of Basketball from every part of Illinois.
As a coach, few have matched Coach Rolinski’s career at Toluzaca High School.
In 34 seasons, his teams won 649 games, 19 Tri-County Conference Titles, 14 Tri-County Conference Tournament Titles, 7 Holiday Crowns, 16 IHSA Regional Titles, and 3 Sectional Championships. Chuck’s 1967 tiny Toluca Team reached the Sweet Sixteen in the one-class system. Coach Rolinski also earned numerous Coach of the Year Awards, and in 2007 he was selected as one of the Top 100 Legends of Illinois Boys Basketball.
Chuck worked and fought for all of us, but especially for the small schools.
He firmly believed that the state’s smaller schools deserved a fair chance to win a regional championship. Thus, he fought ferociously for a Two-Class State Tournament. In 1972, Rolinski’s dream was realized and was a brilliant success.
A true Tolucan, Chuck was born and raised in Toluca. He graduated from Toluca High School in 1952 and was his Class Valedictorian. Chuck then served our country in Korea with a stint in the U.S. Army and earned the rank of Master Sargent. After his military service, Chuck attended Illinois State University. In 1956, Chuck returned to Toluca as a teacher and became their head basketball coach.
Chuck loved basketball but loved his family even more.
Chuck married Anita, who is also a Tolucan. Chuck and Anita were blessed with a son, Mike, and three daughters, Lori, Toni Marie, and Gina. Their contributions to Chuck’s legacy and the IBCA can’t be overstated.
Despite Chuck’s passing in September of 2014, his legacy continues to live on through the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and the Basketball Museum of Illinois.