Severna Park names area resident Pellicani as head coach Boys basketball

June 08, 1993|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

Severna Park High School introduced Paul Pellicani as its new boys basketball coach yesterday.

Pellicani replaces Wayne Mook, who stepped down after 12 seasons with an overall record of 127-143, a winning percentage of .470.

Pellicani, 37, has been residing in Olde Severna Park for the past four years with his wife Lisa and two sons, Nicholas (12) and Benjamin (9), and has been serving as a college and pro consultant.

A former college and high school coach with a career head coaching record of 187-22, Pellicani was the Falcons' choice over four candidates outside the school who interviewed for the position.

"We had a total of 14 applicants and narrowed it down, and among those we interviewed, Paul was the most impressive," said athletic director Andy Borland, who was part of the search committee that included principal Oliver Wittig, assistant principal Harvey Tate and computer lab chairman Bill Rogers.

Rogers said that Pellicani displayed "dedication, sincerely wants to turn our program around and we felt he was the most qualified to do it."

The Falcons suffered through a 4-17 season after going 16-8 in 1992-93. Severna Park had seven losing seasons in the last 12, and Pellicani is determined to change that.

"I think this program has great potential after seeing some of the kids in the Green Hornets' program, and hope we will encourage the local kids to stay here in the community," said the new coach.

Severna Park has lost a host of outstanding players over the last decade to private schools, such as DeMatha, Loyola, Mount St. Joseph, Cardinal Gibbons and Severn School.

Pellicani has coached four New England Prep School Championships, three All-Americans, 57 former players have received Division I scholarships, and one of his proteges is ex-Syracuse star David Johnson, a draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Since 1989, he has been a college basketball scout, working under Marty Blake and Bill Bertka (assistant coach L.A. Lakers) in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic 10, Big East, Colonial Athletic Association and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He has been a resident at the 5-Star Basketball Camp since then.

Pellicani also was head postgraduate basketball coach at Maine Central Institute, where he was 135-18 at the Division I junior varsity level from 1982 to 1989. From 1978 to 1981, the 1978 graduate of the University of Maine had success at Saints Peter and Paul in the Virgin Islands.

"We only had 67 boys in a Catholic School and became the first private school to defeat a public school in the Caribbean," said Pellicani.

"People get excited about success and I hope we can get them excited at Severna Park," said Pellicani, who vowed to "get to Cole Field House in five years."

Cole Field House is where the state playoffs are held, and to get there, you have to win your region. Severna Park has been to Cole Field House just once, in 1981.

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