By Joe Henricksen

Pingatore, Goers more than just the wins

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By Joe Henricksen

The record is within reach. Legendary coach Dick Van Scyoc is the all-time leader in coaching
victories in Illinois high school basketball history with 826 wins. St. Joseph's Gene Pingatore and
Rockford Boylan's Steve Goers are both closing in, with Pingatore sitting at 793 wins and Goers
at 790.

Between the two coaching icons they've been on the bench for more than 2,000 games, and amazingly winning a
combined 1,583 of them. I had the chance to speak at length with both of them recently and, as I always do,
thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. What they've done in coaching over the last 30-plus years is a list of endless
accomplishments. But when you talk to the two of them it's just a pleasure to listen and discuss Illinois prep basketball. Pingatore and Goers have a passion for Illinois high school hoops and love talking about it. They are
genuine in their care for prep basketball in this state and their own players. Thus, it becomes endless conversation
when going back decade by decade and talking about the great players, teams, coaches, games and countless
memories.

Year after year the question of just how long the two of them will coach is brought up. And while I believe they are
both truly sincere when saying it's not about the wins or the record that keeps them going, it's human nature to
think about becoming the all-time leader in the profession you are in. Think about that for a moment. I also continue
to hear the same passion, the same tone, the same excitement in their voices that I hear year after year. Thus, I
don't think they will be leaving the game anytime in the very near future as long as their health allows them to
continue coaching.

When that time does finally come, when the two of them step down from coaching, I for one will miss them in the
coaching ranks. These are the type of coaches and the type of conversations I will miss. The number of "basketball
lifers" out there are dwindling for many different reasons. What I have also found is that many of the younger
coaches out there don't share the same passion or respect for Illinois high school basketball as many of the
veteran coaches I have gotten to know over the years. So every year a coach steps down, whether it be a
Roy Condotti, a Tom Cappel, a Chuck Beuscher, or a
Bob Hambric, a piece of Illinois prep basketball is lost and doesn't seem like it's being replaced at
an equal rate.


Don't get me wrong, there are still some up-and-coming coaches out there that live it and breath it, coaches that will
be around for many years to come. But when it comes time to discuss the history, to re-live the memories, the great
veteran coaches of today can't be replaced.

To subscribe to the City/Suburban Hoops Report call (630)-408-6709 or e-mail hoopsreport@yahoo.com. The first issue is due out in late November.

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5 Comments

I was told by an inside source at Ohio State that Evan Turner, a Pingatore product, is the softest athlete on the team. They are having problems with his attitude and work ethic as well. This source had heard many good things about Pingatore, and could not be more shocked and disappointed at Turner's lack of toughness and poor attitude in practice.........

Its also interesting to discuss 2 individuals, who no doubt possess great knowledge basketball wise, yet throughout their careers were RECRUITERS. They both coached at catholic schools that enabled them to go out and get the players they wanted. Its the ultimate difference when compared to their public school coaches counterparts. Their should be an asterisk.

John,

Understand this, based on my very reliable inside sources, public school coaches recruit as well. Heck, the public schools even have a General manager (I mean 'basketball director') to oversee what players go to what CPS schools.

Get over the whole "Its not fair thing."

Phil

The coaches you ahve mention are both great people and look out for their players as well as the students that they are. Comment about G. Pingtore and E. Turner being weak at practice is very hard to believe knowing both individuals and the program has Coach Ping brings to the table I think someone maybe smoking something.

Steve Goers had taken nerdy white kids and changed them into dunking superstars. know your facts

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on September 25, 2007 8:08 PM.

Transfers, transfers and more transfers was the previous entry in this blog.

Disturbing? Out of control? Yes, but don't blame the kid is the next entry in this blog.

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