From our friends at the Basketball Hall of Fame:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the winners of the 2013 Morgan Wootten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball. This prestigious award is named after Morgan Wootten, who is one of two high school coaches enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The annual award recognizes two high school coaches, one for boy’s basketball and one for girl’s basketball.
The 2013 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for boy’s basketball is Vito Montelli from St. Joseph High School (Trumbull, CT). Coach Montelli was the only basketball coach St. Joseph High School has ever had until his retirement at the end of last season. His last game as head coach would end with his 11th state championship and his 878th victory – the most by any New England high school basketball coach in history. Even after retirement, he remains a fixture at the school with an office next to the 2nd basketball coach in school history. The court at St. Joseph High School is named in his honor and it is where basketball will remain Coach Montelli’s profession, hobby and passion.
The 2012 winner of the Morgan Wootten Award for girl’s basketball is Sandra Meadows from Duncanville High School (Duncanville, TX). For 26 years, Coach Meadows has led Duncanville to nearly 750 victories and four state championships that included a 134-game winning streak. Her record on the court would lead her to receive numerous recognitions including induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In total, she would win just over 900 games but her life was cut short at age 59 due to cancer. Duncanville High School has dedicated its gymnasium in honor of the former women’s coach who influenced so many lives while leaving a forever impact on Texas high school girl’s basketball.
“Coach Montelli and Coach Meadows are both extraordinary coaches, mentors and teachers in life and the game of basketball. They have both done a tremendous job with their respective programs,” said John. L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We want to honor them for their continued efforts in helping mold and shape the lives of their young players.”
“It is always great to celebrate and recognize high school coaches, I am honored to be presenting the Lifetime Achievement Awards to these two highly esteemed coaches at this year’s McDonald’s All-American Games,” said Hall of Fame Class of 2000 member Morgan Wootten.
The Morgan Wootten Award winners were selected by a nationally based committee comprised of Hall of Famers, national high school media members, tournament directors and others that have significantly impacted the game. Morgan Wootten will present the awards at the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game® events April 2nd in Chicago, Illinois.
Previous award boys’ basketball award winners have included Jack Curran (Archbishop Molloy, NY), Joe Gallagher (St. John’s College, DC), Ralph Tasker (Hobbs High School, NM), Robert Hughes (Fort Worth Dunbar, TX), Bob Hurley, Sr. (St. Anthony’s, NJ) and Ed Pepple (Mercer Island High School, WA). Previous winners of the girls’ basketball award have included Leta Andrews (Granbury High School, TX), Jim Smiddy (Bradley Central, TN), Dorothy Gaters (Chicago Marshall, IL), Rick Insell (Shelbyville, TN), Gene Klinge (West Central of Maynard, IA) and Brad Smith (Oregon City High School, OR).
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.