Amatucci returns to Calvert Hall

May 29, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

Once upon a time, Mark Amatucci made magic at Calvert Hall, coaching his alma mater to a mythical national championship before stepping up to college basketball.

Yesterday, Amatucci came home when he accepted the head coaching job at Calvert Hall.

In his previous four-year term at Calvert Hall, Amatucci compiled a record of 117-27, winning three consecutive Catholic League titles from 1980-82 and the mythical national title in 1981-82. He coached Duane Ferrell, who went on to star at Georgia Tech and is a reserve forward for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

Amatucci was unavailable for comment, but one of his old rivals, Loyola High School coach Jerry Savage, said, "If he's able to duplicate that [his previous record], Calvert Hall will be very happy, though I don't know how the rest of the league will feel."

Amatucci's road back to his alma mater has had a few bumps.

Amatucci, who spent last season as an assistant at Washington College, left Calvert Hall in 1982 for the head job at Loyola College, where he compiled an 85-116 record over seven years. His contract was not renewed after the 1988-89 season.

That fall, Amatucci took over at Anne Arundel Community College and made the Pioneers program a success, taking the team to the National Junior College Athletic Association regional final in 1990-91.

However, Amatucci, who was 59-21 in three years at AACC, left the school 14 games into the 1991-92 season.

His departure came just after three Pioneers players were ruled academically ineligible and a new player also was deemed ineligible because he hadn't paid his tuition.

The school already had been barred from participating in the NJCAA playoffs that year for playing ineligible players.

Calvert Hall athletic director Lou Eckerl said, "We're looking forward, not looking backward, with Mark. We were looking for the best possible candidate and we know he'll give good guidance to our program."

This season, the Cardinals were 19-12 and ranked No. 14 by The Baltimore Sun, finishing the Catholic League regular season in a third-place tie at 8-6 and reaching the tournament semifinals. Calvert Hall also tied for second in the MSA Armstrong Conference A League with a 12-4 mark.

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