Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Meet Steve Coccimiglio
Different but certainly not more successful for how could that be?
For most of us, Coccimiglio IS Diablo Valley College men's basketball.
So where did he begin?
After playing for University of Hawaii, Hilo from 1975-77, Coccimiglio coached the junior varsity squad from 1977-79 at St. Joseph's High in Hilo.
He then returned to the Bay Area, taking the junior varsity coaching position at Clayton Valley High. Coccimiglio was there from 1979-81.
With what seems like many others, De La Salle High in Concord was the real launch pad. Coccimiglio began there in 1981 as a 24-year-old and had the opportunity to coach some of the [Rick] Barry boys. It was the Catholic Athletic league back then and he compiled a 101-41 record..
In 1986, Coccimiglio moved to St. Mary's in Moraga as a graduate assistant under Lynn Nance. He also began working on his master's degree.
The Gaels were members of the then West Coast Athletic Conference and Coccimiglio remembers St. Mary's going up against a Bo Kimble/Hank Gaithers fortified Loyola Marymount before a sellout crowd.
His tenure in Moraga lasted until 1989 when Nance was hired at Washington, his alma mater, after the Gaels won 25 games, a WCAC championship and earned a spot in the Big Dance.
Coccimiglio wanted to also make the move but, with a wife plus three kids under eight years of age, the jump just wasn't do-able.
Becoming an assistant at Diablo Valley College was.
It's impossible to know but where would Coccimiglio be had he gone to Seattle but Nance was let go in 1993.
After assisting for a season at DVC, Coccimiglio was promoted to head coach in 1990 and it's been that way ever since to the tune of a 508-194 win-loss record..
Now a full time, tenured member of the faculty, the veteran coach is a factor beyond the basketball court.
"If you do it the right way, it's really the role of an educator," he explained. "Most of our guys graduate with an AA degree. The thing I'm most satisfied about is not the basketball but the educations, seeing kids mature and grow up. We still stress winning but connect basketball with achievement in school."
1986 East Bay High School Coach of the Year (De La Salle)
1993 California State J.C. Coach of the Year (Diablo Valley)
1999 NorCal J.C. Coach of the Year (Diablo Valley)
2001 NorCal J.C. Coach of the Year (Diablo Valley)