Ed Hoffman announced Thursday that he will step down as head coach of the Notre Dame Academy boys basketball team, which finished ranked No. 7 last season after going 24-3 en route to its second consecutive Virginia Independent School League championship.

The Dragons' top assistant, Larry Cullinane, will take his place.

Hoffman, who compiled a 64-8 record during his two-year tenure, cited his dedication to his administrative duties and responsibilities as the school's assistant headmaster for the decision.

"I didn't want to shortchange the kids, and I didn't want to shortchange my position as an administrator at the school," he said Friday. "I think [Cullinane] will do very, very well. He's very knowledgeable; his expertise is impeccable; he's a great floor coach and a great bench coach. The program is going to continue to blossom."

Hoffman and Cullinane both came to Notre Dame three years ago from St. John's at Prospect Hall, in Frederick, Md. At St. John's, Hoffman was the head basketball coach from 1982 to '90, as well as athletic director and dean of discipline. He was headmaster for six years before leaving St. John's to take a position as the assistant head of school at Notre Dame.

Cullinane joined Hoffman at St. John's 11 years ago as an assistant basketball coach.

He took over the program in 1990 but became an assistant coach (and athletic director) three years later when Stu Vetter was hired by Hoffman to coach the boys team.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for me, although I will miss Coach Hoffman's expertise in coaching and teaching these young athletes both on and off the court," Cullinane said in a statement issued by the school.

"I hope to continue the winning tradition at Notre Dame Academy. We have high expectations for the team and a very demanding schedule this season."