After more than 40 years as a basketball coach and athletics director (AD) at Moraine Valley Community College, Bill Finn retired on June 30.

Finn is well-known within the college district. Some people call him Coach Finn, some played sports at Moraine Valley, others know him from Richards High School, but they all equate him with success.

Bill Finn

Moraine Valley Community College Athletics director, Bill Finn, retired on June 30 after more than 40 years at the college.

He was a star basketball player in high school and at Loras College and knew plenty of guys over the years who went on to play or coach professionally. After graduating college, he took a job as a substitute teacher at Evergreen Park Community High School. Moraine Valley’s AD at the time – Doug Gehrke – heard about this talented athlete and had just lost a men’s basketball head coach. Gehrke asked Finn if he’d take the job.

“Bill was the fourth coach I hired. I was impressed with his background in basketball. I liked the way he was running his practices, coaching the games, the way he interacted with his players and just the way he ran his basketball program,” Gehrke explained.

Finn was Moraine Valley’s head coach of men’s basketball, a part-time role, from 1981 to 2004, amassing a 506-210 overall record and a number of awards. He had 20 seasons with over 20 wins, had one team ranked as high as sixth nationally, and led four teams to the national tournament, finishing in the Final Four in 1990 and 1999 and in the Elite Eight in 2001 and 2002. He earned All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year five times and NJCAA Region IV Coach of the Year four times, among a lengthy list of honors. He also was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, NJCAA Basketball Coaches, NJCAA Region IV, Skyway Conference and Richards High School Basketball/Athletics halls of fame.

When Gehrke stepped down as AD in 1983, he recommended Finn as his replacement. Since then, Finn has built the program into what it is today. He added football for a few years, and when that disbanded, he assured the college offered six sports for men and six for women. Since 2004, he has helped bring home the Skyway Conference All-Sports trophy 10 times, which is based on the success of all the teams at Moraine Valley in comparison with the other conference colleges.

“Bill says that I started all this. I say that I just opened the door for him to take it over. He stepped in and did a wonderful job of building the athletic program up to the point that it is today,” Gehrke commented. “I am very proud of everything he has done. It’s hard to believe it has been 40 years since he was hired as AD. The college and community were very lucky to have him.”

“Bill has been an exceptional AD known for his great leadership in the Skyway Conference and Region IV, and has brought many championship trophies home to Moraine Valley. He has led our athletes to succeed not only in all the sports the college offers but also helped our athletes soar academically,” said Dr. Normah Salleh-Barone, Moraine Valley vice president of Student Development. “The impact he has played on our athletes is amazing, and many have returned to be recognized in our hall of fame. Bill will be missed, but his legacy lives on.”

“I literally grew up at this college and have been through every possible stage you can go through,” Finn said. “I’ve really enjoyed my years here and all the enthusiastic staff and students who’ve wanted to build this athletics program and have helped us become nationally known. Mission accomplished.”

General McArthur III, formerly Moraine Valley’s athletic student success specialist, was hired as the new AD starting July 1.

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or