Best High School BB Coach Ever in the State of Connecticut

RichZ

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I would have a tough time choosing between Saulsbury & Bentley. But 9 state championships including 5 in a row might give the edge to Bentley. Plus he's an alumni of Tech in Bridgeport.
 
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Ralph King, my coach at Brien McMahon
Vito
Bentley
Salisbury
Ray Berry at Norwalk
Walsh at Trinity
Need help with the name of Hillhouse`s coach in the 70-80`s.
 
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I would vote for Vito Montelli, alittle biased as I played for him in 2006, but he coached 50 years, a state-record 878 victories and a state-record 11 state championships.
@JT55 @ChocRaisins Not trolling, curious. As a player, what made him stand out?
 

Fairfield_1st

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Yeah, Donny Lewis and Al Weston were too much for Class S.
Both great guys. I see Don around town frequently. Played a mean men's slow pitch softball as well. Just a great athlete. Played at PC and was pictured in SI covering Dr J.
 

Fairfield_1st

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If you don’t know, Jake is by far the best coach in CT basketball history. In 1972 he put 4 out of 5 of his players on the 1st team All State team. And they ALL played D1 basketball. Oh by the way......this was a school that had less than 400 kids.

And just in case anyone wants to poo poo whether these were BS Division 1 schools, they were Army (under Bob Knight), UConn, and Providence.

by far unprecedented in the history of CT high school hoops
I'm a lifelong resident. Got Al Weston's autograph when he taught our gym class when I was in grammar school. So even as a 2nd grader I knew he was someone special.
My brother graduated in 1980. I remember looking in his yearbook and seeing they played and beat big basketball schools, like Holy Cross or Harding, that level.
 

WaterDawg

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As a St. Joe’s alum from the early to mid nineties, I gotta go with Vito.
 

olehead

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Jim Calhoun began his coaching career at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in Old Lyme, CT, but he was 1-17 and then went back to MA, so I'm not sure that would qualify him.

Vito Montelli from St. Joseph's in Trumbull had an impressive run back in the day. I didn't like him though.
Out of curiosity, what about him didn't you like?
 

olehead

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Ralph King, my coach at Brien McMahon
Vito
Bentley
Salisbury
Ray Berry at Norwalk
Walsh at Trinity
Need help with the name of Hillhouse`s coach in the 70-80`s.
I was gonna list Berry from Norwalk. Had a great run in the 80's. Played with and against those guys. In the 80's S. Norwalk was a hotbed for basketball talent. Guys simply couldn't get out of their own way toward D1 scholarships, but certainly plenty of D1 talent for Norwalk high and McMahon.
 

olehead

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I know you didn't ask me, but I despise him just for pushing his kids to Providence and shunning the state school.
I noticed that as well. Chris Watts, Marvin Saddler, what was the story behind that. Did Coach Montelli have a beef w/ UConn?
 
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Bentley
Salsbury
Montelli
Smith, Windsor
Reilly (s)


I really respect the coaches that were getting kids from their respective areas and coaching them rather than able to "recruit" from surrounding areas. But I'm guessing even back in the day they made sure a kid from the other side of town suddenly lived with an uncle to go to a school they prefer!
 

Wordbomar

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Tony Falzarano. Coached at Putnam for 33 years, then coached at Tourtellotte for another 6 years. Two tiny public schools in CT. 609 wins. Won a state title in 1986 and reached two other state finals in 1995 and 2006. What he was able to do, with such little talent in Northeast CT, was amazing.
 
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Saulsbury had some amazing teams way back in the day but since the 70's CT. high school basketball just hasn't stacked up for several reasons. Was watching this game recently and it looks like a college game. Bob Hurley is the best high school coach of all time and this was his best and arguably the best high school bball team ever. Mike Breen and Bob Papa on the play by play...

Elizabeth vs St Anthony 1989 @ St. Peter's College JC. - YouTube
 

Horatio

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Ralph King, my coach at Brien McMahon
Vito
Bentley
Salisbury
Ray Berry at Norwalk
Walsh at Trinity
Need help with the name of Hillhouse`s coach in the 70-80`s.
Coach Vitolo coached Hillhouse in the 80’s. He definitely won a championship in 1985 and also went undefeated that year. Tharon Mayes was on that team. That team was a complete beast.
 
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It’s the legendary Bob Saulsbury of Wilbur Cross. I can’t imagine anyone in this state being better.

When I was in my early 20s I worked at a Chinese place. I was taking a break from school as I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living, but I still wanted to educate myself a bit. So when it was slow at the restaurant I would sit at one of the tables and read.

One day I was sitting there when an older man walked in and sat down at the table with me. All the other tables were empty so I was initially a little startled considering I was nose deep in a book and wasn't paying full attention. I had a couple drinks/crackheads do the same to me over the years of working there so it kind of felt like a "here we go again" type of moment. But he just asked me what I was reading, what I was interested in, etc. I told him I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but did plan to finish a degree eventually. I don't remember exactly what he said, but he ended up giving me a nice little pep talk before walking to his car and returning with a piece of paper. He wrote a little inspirational message on it and signed it. I know that may seem a little odd to some people, but I realized he was just a kind older man trying to provide some words of encouragement to a young guy, and I was really thankful for him doing something so small.

The paper ended up being a handout from his induction into some ring of honor (I believe it may be the Cross HoF but I'm not positive) and the man was coach Saulsbury. I showed it to my mom when I got home and she told me he was known as not only as a legendary coach but a great guy and mentor for a lot of kids. The whole conversation I had with him made perfect sense once I heard that. He was trying to do for me what he had done for a lot of young men. Would've loved to have played for him, he really did seem like a great guy.

Edit: I just watched that video and the handout he gave me was actually from the ceremony where they named the court after him. I wonder if he was on his way too or from the ceremony when he talked with me, or if the ceremony had just taken place recently. Either way, kind of neat you posted that video considering my little story haha
 
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I don't pick Catholic school coaches. Walsh didn't win until he got kids from NY coming in on the train. I'm an FCIAC guy and I think King and Barry were fantastic, as was Usher. Bentley did great things at Harding (some of it in the FCIAC). Currently, I love watching Joel Geriak's teams at Wilton HS.
 

Horatio

Hold Tight
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When I was in my early 20s I worked at a Chinese place. I was taking a break from school as I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living, but I still wanted to educate myself a bit. So when it was slow at the restaurant I would sit at one of the tables and read.

One day I was sitting there when an older man walked in and sat down at the table with me. All the other tables were empty so I was initially a little startled considering I was nose deep in a book and wasn't paying full attention. I had a couple drinks/crackheads do the same to me over the years of working there so it kind of felt like a "here we go again" type of moment. But he just asked me what I was reading, what I was interested in, etc. I told him I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but did plan to finish a degree eventually. I don't remember exactly what he said, but he ended up giving me a nice little pep talk before walking to his car and returning with a piece of paper. He wrote a little inspirational message on it and signed it. I know that may seem a little odd to some people, but I realized he was just a kind older man trying to provide some words of encouragement to a young guy, and I was really thankful for him doing something so small.

The paper ended up being a handout from his induction into some ring of honor (I believe it may be the Cross HoF but I'm not positive) and the man was coach Saulsbury. I showed it to my mom when I got home and she told me he was known as not only as a legendary coach but a great guy and mentor for a lot of kids. The whole conversation I had with him made perfect sense once I heard that. He was trying to do for me what he had done for a lot of young men. Would've loved to have played for him, he really did seem like a great guy.

Edit: I just watched that video and the handout he gave me was actually from the ceremony where they named the court after him. I wonder if he was on his way too or from the ceremony when he talked with me, or if the ceremony had just taken place recently. Either way, kind of neat you posted that video considering my little story haha
Thanks for sharing. Outstanding. He’s still the same way. I didn’t go to that ceremony but I go to the Highschool tournament they have in Coach Saulsbury’s honor every winter at Cross. Calhoun was there last year and received an award.
 
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I don't pick Catholic school coaches. Walsh didn't win until he got kids from NY coming in on the train. I'm an FCIAC guy and I think King and Barry were fantastic, as was Usher. Bentley did great things at Harding (some of it in the FCIAC). Currently, I love watching Joel Geriak's teams at Wilton HS.
You meant to say, Until he had kids picked up in New York.
 

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