Had some interesting conversations over the past week or so with a number of D1 assistant coaches as well as a few former coaches. The conversations were great and has motivated me to do some rankings and acknowledgments that will be different from what is usually written here. For the record, names might be spelled wrong and for that I ask forgiveness in advance. Also, if you feel I have left someone off please let me know. I have also done a 5 star rating system. Again, please read for enjoyment as opposed to looking for spelling errors. A good editor, which I do not have, would make it nice LOL.
These ratings are for NYC, Westchester, and Northern and Central New Jersey
Top Young Player Coaches in Travel and AAU Basketball
Craig "Kat" Keats, ***** Plus Panthers Young Team (No Affiliation with other Panthers)
This guy is the best in the entire NYC and NJ area working with very young players. Only a few guys are on his level.
Mike Bright ***** Plus Englewood NJ
New York's gift to NJ. Too bad folks in Englewood do not know who he is. Guy has developed hundreds of very young kids into future HS and College stars. Wake up Englewood.
Donald Osborne ***** Plus Gym Rats (Northern NJ)
Some of you might have never heard of this ex FDU star. He is an outstanding teacher and coach. He also has a great player in his 11 year old son. But the guy is outstanding. Look for him on the HS level this season.
Tony Hargraves **** Riverside Church
A former standout at Iona College he has taken a new Riverside Church program for young players to another level. Many have also seen him in basketball movies when he is not working as a successful Wall Street Guy.
Dana Dingle **** Lightning Dingle Shondue McNeal **** Lightning Dingle
Former UMass star has done an outstanding job developing players and coaching his team to great victories. Look for Shondue McNeal, ex St. Bonaventure star, to get a college job in the near future. He and Dana do a terrific job.
Top Older Kid Coaches on The Travel and AAU Circuit
Kamani Young ***** Plus New Heights
Ex Texas El Paso player is a true student of the game. This guy is exceptional. but than again he should be because he has learned from one of the best in Vincent Smith, brother of Kenny. Just an outstanding individual in addition to being a first class coach and teacher.
Dwayne Mitchell ***** Plus NY Gaucho's
Not big on his personality, especially after he big timed me at a event held at Rutgers a few months back. But despite this I still have to give him his props. He has all the tools to be a head HS coach and even a college assistant. Does a great job with the Gauchos. But he needs to remember not to get so big he looks down on others.
OZZie ? **** Minus NY Panthers
I do not know much about him or even his last name. But one thing for sure is he can really coach despite having a touch of arrogance.
Anthony Ambrose **** Minus United Brooklyn
A Ted Gustus Protege, this guy has a bright future. Organized and well versed by one of the best, look for him to be even better in the next year or so.
Kenny Pretlow Metro Hawks
An outstanding and somtimes misunderstood coach. Guy can really coach and lead. Legendary in summer basketball circles in NYC and known nationally.
Kyle Anderson **** plus Playaz
Nice and simple. GUY CAN COACH and TEACH!!!!! Has a great son with very good skills learned from his Dad. Just knows how to make kids better.
Mark Wright **** Minus Playaz
Ex Fordham star is really getting it done. Made the switch from player to coach and has not looked back. Bright future!
Carlton Screen Jr. **** Plus FYA
Carlton, the ex Providence College star really understands the game and learned from his Dad, Carlton Sr., who is a motivator, teacher, and coach extraordinaire. Carlton has D1 experience as a coach and also experience coaching on the HS level.
High Level AAU and Travel Team Guys with lots of experience
Sandy Python ***** NJ Road Runners
One of the best teachers and coaches in the entire tri-state area. Guy is also a work-out guru who has trained many NBA players before they became good.
Brian Crawford ***** Newark Rams
Also a great teacher, trainer, and game coach who has developed many NJ players. He is about development more than wins and loses. But he does win more than he loses.
JR Rodriquez **** Metro Hawks
Not sure if Metro really dropped senior team this summer. But even if they did it is no reflection on JR who has been coaching for many years and doing an outstanding job.
Nate Cardigan **** NY Panthers
One of the most underrated coaches on the scene. Guy can coach and motivate. Plus he remains an outstanding person.
Artie Cox ***** Ron Artist Team
One of the best if not the best coaches on any level. This guy had done it well for many years. I even think he has more IS8 championships than anyone else. His coaching and subbing remain superb!
Artie Green **** Kips Bay??
All I will say is he is a no nonsense coach who knows how to win while teaching the game and life lessons. Great teacher of the game who encourages his players to compete 100%.
Best Guy in NJ or NY to work for as a Basketball Coach
Wayne Cox, Principal of Wings Academy in The Bronx NY.
***** Plus Plus Plus No one is close!
Best Public School Coaches
Tiny Morton ***** Plus Plus Lincoln
A real hall of fame type guy. The best in NYC at this time and an exceptional coach and motivator. Gets it done year in and year out. Even at a time when many chose Catholic Schools, Lincoln still went out and beat most of the teams they played. Guy is without a doubt the best in NYC.
Bob Cummino ***** Plus Plus Mt. Vernon
A hard worker who has done great things at Mount Vernon HS. Guy is similar to Tiny Morton in his commitment level, and desire to win. Plus he can coach, teach. and motivate at a level above most others.
Ron Neclerio ***** Plus Cardozo
Guy lives basketball 24/7 and loves every minute. Called the teacher at games in Harlem when he competes in summer months as a player. Workout expert and great motivator who really would be an ideal pick-up for a D1 program.
Scooter Whiting **** Hackensack
Football and basketball coach who wins in both sports. Guy has coached on all age levels and now has made Hackensack a power again.
Johnny Mathis ***** Plus JFK (Bronx)
A true legend and gentleman. Any parent would want their son playing for Johnny Mathis. He has great patience and knows how to place kids in positions to succeed. A great coach and motivator as well. Odd that such a great ex player has such patience. But glad he does because that patience has paid off well because Kennedy is a PSAL power every year.
Curtis March **** (Was 5 star years ago) Teaneck
Could be the top guy if he put the same effort in his team now as he did years ago. Guy can teach and coach but seems a bit tired and worn out.
Nick M **** Plus Bloomfield Tech
Say what you want, this guy wins and has a nationally recognized program as opposed to team. Slick Nick is what I call him based on the Rick Patino look.
Rock Eisenberg **** Plus Tilden
Everyone's favorite Coach. Great guy with great basketball knowledge. Players respect and love him almost as much as he loves and respects them. Knows his stuff!
Spencer Mayfield (?) ***** Plus White Plains
All he does is win and develop kids the correct way. Great game coach and game day motivator.
Two To Remember
Floyd Layne George Washington *****
I hear he is coaching at George Washington HS. If he is, it is a great hire. He is like a hall of fame type guy. Does it all and will teach his kids all they need to know about winning.
Jay Mahoney Bagota *****
OUTSTANDING COACH who is a throw back to years ago. Nothing fancy, just gets his team to compete all the time.
Pat Meggin FDA ****
Mike Crump Wadleigh ****
Dave Vandiver Woodlands ****
Wendle Sanders Bannecker ****
Kenny Stephens Lincoln (Yonkers)**** Minus
Tommy Allen Carnarsie ****
Ruth Lovelace Boys and Girls **** Minus
Sheldon Jefferson and Lawrence Pollard Jefferson ****
Coach Linden **** Plus
Coach Plainfoeld ****
Billy Turnage Jr. Wings Academy ****
Catholic HS Coaches
Bob Hurley St. Anthony's ***** Plus Plus
The Best, Nuff said!
Kevin Boyle St. Patricks ***** Plus Plus
If anything he remains under rated based on being in Hurley's shadow in NJ. Great coach!
Mo Hicks Rice ***** Plus Plus
Winner, winner, winner! Great game coach who makes the right adjustments. Knows how to get along with everyone despite working for the Gauchos away from his job at Rice HS.
Bob Oliva Christ The King ***** Plus
What more can be said other than he just keeps winning and sending kids to great college programs. A tad bit under appreciated despite great success.
Jack Curran Malloy ***** Plus Plus
Could be one of the best ever if you consider his history and accomplishments. Oddly he lives in Westchester County and coaches all the way in Queens.
Bob Farrow Seton Hall Prep ***** Plus
Great Coach who runs his system well. Not sure if it is right place bor guys over 6 ft 8 but for others it is great. Breat school as well.
Danny Hurley ***** Plus ( He will get Plus Plus after a few more years)
My grandsons future coach if he still coaches there in 16 years. Takes no crap and gets it done while developing players. He does it his way or the highway. Might be my favorite coach!
Pat Flaherty Holy Cross **** Plus
No nonsense and very good coach. Does not hurt that Holy Cross opened its doors to everyone some years ago. But this guy really has taken HC to a new level.
Oliver Antiqua St. Raymonds ****
Despite some issues from a few months ago this guy has done a terrific job following Gary DeCaeser at St. Raymond's.
Jack Alesi Xavarian **** Plus
Hard coach who is learning to adjust to kids after being at the school for many years. But his success is well known and the Clippers are headed in the right direction.
Khalid Green Bishop Loughlin ****
After a few years of showmanship and learning on the job, this young coach has become a very good coach who makes the right decisions on the bench. He lives to coach and it is starting to show. Now if he could only
take that phone and put it away!
Some Other Rankings and Observations
Best Travel and AAU Team Recruiter?
Chad from the Gauchos. Smooth guy who has a way with the players.
Best AAU and Travel Team Administrator
Jim Solman from the Playaz. Very organized and excellent manager of his staff.
Best AAU and Travel Team Facilities
NY Gauchos, LI Lightning, Westchester County Hawks, New Heights
Most Influential AAU and Travel Team Person
Gary Charles, NY Panthers Hands down very influential. has power to get guys jobs!
Most successful HS Coaches in last 8 years
Bob Hurley in NJ
Tiny Morton in NY
Kevin Boyle NJ
Top AAU and Travel Team (looking at players, college placement, uniforms, wins, tournaments)
The NJ Playaz
Albany City Rocks
Best AAU and Travel Team Program (Tutoring, academic support, teams, etc.)
This is not even close.
NEW HEIGHTS! They are about more than basketball. They are about developing kids on and off the court in the building they use in the Bronx which at one time was Tolintine HS.
Darryl "D Train" Smith, New Jersey
Jerry Powell, New York
Mike "Mooch" and his partner on Long Island whose name slips me at the time.
Best Shooting Coaches
Ken Culuko New Jersey
Sundance Kid New York
Best Ball Handleing Trainer
Sean Couch New York City
Jackie Knowles Bronx (If he still does it)
Best Overall Teacher
Rich Leary New Jersey The Best!
Power Broker List
Tom Konchalski, Rob Kennedy, Pete Edwards (IS8), Jason Curry (Big Apple Sports), Howie Garfinkel, Steve Keller, Ted Gustus, Rob "Rebel" Boyd, Sam Albano, Ed Butler, Robert White (NYNJHOOPS), Hank Carter (Wheel Chair Charities),Nate Blue, Russell Shular, Rich Kossick, John Salvo, Brett Carter, Lou Demeo (Westchester), Howie Garfinkel, Jim Couch, Gene Carroll, Boston Keith, Rich Macuchi (Sp), Tyrone Green, Sterling Nuneley, Cecil Watkins, Howie Evans, Carlton Screen Sr.
Best Player Development Programs (Teaching)
New Heights (year round)
Dyckman (NYC based)
Best Academic Support Guys
Russell Shular and Rich Kossick
Hall of Fame Guys
Dave McCullough Ex NY Gaucho Coach
Fred Neal Ex NY Gaucho Coach
Evander Ford Ex Dyckman Coach
Bruno S ? Ex Gaucho Coach
Mike McAvane Ex Riverside Coach
Gil Renolds Ex Brooklyn Coach
Rap Perez Ex Brooklyn Crushers Coach
Curtis "Mr T" Thomas Ex Queens Coach
Timmy Vincent Ex Brooklyn USA Coach
Lester Roberts Ex Brooklyn USA Coach
Howie Lawrence Ex Queens Coach
Leroy Oatis Ex Church of master and Young life Coach
Ollie Edinboro Ex Boys of Yesteryear Coach
George Booker Founder of Whitney Young Tournament/ex our Savior Lutheran Coach
Best Coaches Not Coaching
Ray Haskins, ex LIU Head Coach (took team to consecutive NCAA and NIT tournaments)
Bobby Holford (Junior College Coach of the Year at Hostos Community College and 2005 National Champion. 1st African American Coach in NYC and NYS to win a national championship))
Mike McAwaine (great ex Pace University and Riverside Coach)
LFBALL! Nuff said