An assistant for Staples High's girls basketball team for five seasons, Eddie Huydic says he has a "dream" to be a varsity head coach.

In the meantime, Huydic, 26, is making a name for himself.

Huydic, whose father, Ed, is Staples' longtime head coach, was honored last Wednesday as the Connecticut High School Coaches Association's Assistant Coach of the Year for girls basketball.

Eddie credited his father -- in his 34th year at the helm -- and assistant Karen DeFelice for mentoring him. DeFelice is a past recipient of the award.

"Working with (my dad) and with Karen, I feel like I really have the two best coaches in the state to work with, and to learn. I was very appreciative of the honor and to receive that award," Eddie said on Sunday. "They've been my mentors ever since I was young."

Ed, who nominated his son for the award, spoke at the CHSCA banquet in Southington last Wednesday, expressing how Eddie is "highly respected" by players and coaches.

"It's the highest award any assistant coach could attain," Ed said on Sunday. "There are lots of head coaches out there nominating their assistants. When he got the nod from the committee, it was just an absolutely fantastic feeling.

"It makes a father very proud."

Eddie heads Staples' junior varsity girls basketball team. He also coaches freshman boys lacrosse at the school.

Ed praised his son's instincts on the court, referring to him as a "student of the game."

"In a short time he's proven to be an absolutely invaluable addition to the staff," Ed said. "He's got a special way about the girls that commands respect. They listen to him, they seem to really value his instruction."

Eddie is hoping that his award can help propel him toward his goals.

"I have a dream to be a varsity coach and to someday win a tournament championship or a state championship," Eddie said. "I feel like winning this award is a great way to improve my status."

Staples went 7-13 last season and missed the LL state tournament.; 203-255-4561 ext. 114;