By TOM WILLIAMS
Larry DiGiovanni, who coached basketball in the Cape-Atlantic League for 26 seasons, has announced his retirement.
DiGiovanni spent the last two seasons as the head boys coach at Atlantic Tech, compiling a 20-30 record and taking the Red Hawks to the NJSIAA Tournament for the first time.
A former teammate of Chris Ford at Holy Spirit, DiGiovanni compiled an overall record of 374-299 in his 26 seasons. In addition to ACIT, he also coached boys basketball at Hammonton, Egg Harbor Township, Holy Spirit and St. Joseph, compiling a 136-2112 record over 14 boys seasons. In girls basketball he coached a combined 12 seasons at Holy Spirit and St. Joseph and his teams were 238-87. His 217 wins at Holy Spirit is the most by any girls basketball coach at the school.
“These last two seasons at Atlantic Tech were fun and exciting,” DiGiovanni said. “We had a great coaching staff, strong support from the administration and really good fan interest. The kids worked hard and were rewarded with the first winning season the school has had.”
But DiGiovanni was concerned about possible changes coming.
“You read about all the things that might be necessary to keep sports going,” he said. “Constantly sanitizing everything, worrying about testing, social distancing at practice and on bus trips – it just adds a little too much to the responsibilities at my age. It seems like the right time to step out and work on my golf game.”
The process to find a replacement is underway. Jason Vander Ryk, who had success over six seasons coaching ACIT girls basketball and was one of DiGiovanni’s assistants last season, might be a leading candidate.
DiGiovanni was ACIT’s third head coach, following Tom Piotrowski and John Miller.