In celebrating the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s and Title IX’s 50th Anniversary, the IBCA had media and coaches select the 30 most impactful people in Men's Basketball and the 30 most impactful people in Women's basketball during the last 50 years. We will be highlighting in alphabetical order one person a week from each category who our state selected for the Top 30 over the next 30 weeks, beginning on Thursday, January 20th.
Week Twenty (6/2/22)
St. Joseph High School
Gene Pingatore was preparing for his 51st varsity season at Westchester St. Joseph High School. Just days after coaching his players in a summer league game, “Coach Ping” passed away on June 26, 2019 as a true legend. Early in his career Gene coached at St. Joes as their frosh-soph coach and the last 50 years as their varsity coach. Pingatore’s career record is 1035-383. This record makes him the winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history. Gene’s teams won 32 regional championships, 13 sectional titles and 6 super sectionals. In the IHSA State Finals, the Chargers finished 4th in 1984 and 2016, 3rd in 1987, 2nd in 1999 and 2015. Coach Pingatore coached three McDonald’s All-Americans players – Isiah Thomas, Daryl Thomas and Deryl Cunningham. Gene Pingatore is best remembered for his caring and compassion for his players, his school and his coaching colleagues.
Galesburg High School
Illinois High School Basketball fans know all about Galesburg’s Boys’ storied basketball history, but they will also tell you the girls’ program there also has a storied past. Girls’ basketball coach Evan Massey has led the Silver Streaks since the 1978-79 season just a few years after the IHSA allowed girls to participate in interscholastic competition. Presently Coach Massey has a won-loss record of 966-382 and may become the 6th coach in Illinois Basketball history to win 1,000 games. His teams have become one of the best dynasties in Illinois winning 24 regional titles (18 of them consecutively), 10 sectional championships (9 of them consecutively), they have reached the Elite 8 seven times and the Final 4 five times. Massey’s teams have won 30 plus games in a season seven times and 20 times his Silver Streaks have won 20 or more games in a season. Exciting seasons are ahead for the Galesburg Girls Basketball program.