Oak Park Fenwick made a great hire in 1992, when the Friars selected Dave Power as their first and only Girls Varsity Basketball Coach. 29 years, 677 wins, and two state championships later, Coach Power achieved what only two other Illinois High School Coaches have accomplished: win 1000 games. Only recently retired Chicago Marshall Coach Dorothy Gaters (1153) and the late Gene Pingatore of Westchester St. Joseph (1035) have more.
Coach Power began his career at Proviso West during the 1977-78 season winning 82 games in his 5 seasons there. Moving over to Westchester Immaculate Heart of Mary for 10 seasons resulted in 241 more victories along with the 1987 Class 2A State Championship and a third place finish in 1989. When the school closed in 1992, Fenwick came calling. “The Rest is History” as they say.
Starting the Fenwick girls program in the 1992-93 season was a slow beginning: their first record was 1-9. But then the Friars steadily improved until they captured state titles in 2001 and 2007 along with a runners-up finish in 2003 and two 3rd place trophies in 2000 & 2010. During that time, Fenwick managed to win several tournament crowns as well as a 16 season East Suburban Catholic Conference consecutive titles run.
Dave coached 50-plus Division I players including three who were drafted and played in the WNBA. Devereaux Peters attended Notre Dame before playing several seasons with the Minneapolis Lynx and the Indianapolis Fever. Erin Lawless played for Purdue and was drafted by the Indianapolis Fever before playing professionally in Europe. Tricia Liston starred at Duke and played for the Lynx and also in Europe and Korea.
Coach Power has earned several awards including: Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year several times; National Coach of the Year (EA Sports); induction into three Halls of Fame (IBCA – Class of 2005, ESCC & GCAC); and has coached in 8 All-Star games, including the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2009.
The 2021-22 season will be Power’s last as a varsity coach. He plans to remain working at Fenwick in the Physical Education Dept. which coincidently is headed by former Friar point guard and daughter Erin. Erin played at Penn and was a member Fenwick’s 2007 State Championship team.
Congratulations to Coach Dave Power for a great career!