Charlie Bentley retiring: What they’re saying

With the sudden announcement that Charlie Bentley is leaving his post as boys basketball coach at Harding after 34 years, hordes of friends and colleagues, rivals and former players will be lining up to speak to offer their impressions of the man behind a legendary coaching career.

We’ll post the best comments as they come in.

Reader comments (especially great Charlie Bentley stories) are also welcome, just submit at the bottom.

St. Joseph coach Vito Montelli

“I don’t know who’s going to replace him. You can’t replace Charlie. …

“I admire what he’s done with his kids, He had a difficult situation, but he’s had those kids under control. They played with extreme passion.

“I think he’s a good role model. He’s one of my best friends. It’s a shame.”

Trinity Catholic coach Mike Walsh

“We had some good battles. He’s one of the greatest coaches in state history and should be applauded for what he accomplished.”

Jeremy Daniel, former Bassick point guard who played for Bentley in his freshman year at Harding.

“It’s a sad day in Connecticut high school basketball. Mr. B was a great coach and more.  He taught me everything I know about defense and made sure all of his players were doing good in school. Funny on and off the court and connected with all players regardless if you didn’t play varsity. Mr. B was about winning and he was going to win with whatever five respected his rules and did what they had to do. … I have a lot of respect for Mr. B, freshman year was an honor, funny a great learning experience and more.”

Willie Gray, Harding guard/forward who graduated from Harding last year.

“I feel (retiring) was a great decision for coach Bentley. He has had an amazing coaching career at Harding High School, winning state titles and achieving many other awards as well. He was sort of like a legend as a coach in the tri-state area in high school basketball. I just want to say good luck to coach Bentley with retirement as one of Connecticut’s most successful high school basketball coaches and also good luck to the person who is going to step in and coach in coach Bentley’s place.”

Sean Patrick Bowley