Joe Spagnolo is a living legend at Proviso Township High Schools, who will soon be recognized as a legend in the state of Illinois. He’s been elected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a Friend of Basketball.
Spagnolo is a Proviso West Alum who has served Proviso Township High Schools and its students for over 30 years, imparting a legacy of leadership, service, and commitment. Active and committed for more than a quarter of a century, Spagnolo has been a staple in PTHS serving as coach, official, athletic administrator and information technology specialist. He is executive director of one of the nation’s top tournaments, the Proviso’s West Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament. In 2000 Spagnolo was named to Proviso West Holiday Tournament's All-Time All Tournament Team as one of the 40 most influential individuals of the event, which included Illinois basketball legends such as Isiah Thomas, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers and Mark Aguirre. His induction into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame is only the latest of his honors.
“I cannot say enough about the level of commitment that Joe has displayed over the years,” said Proviso West Principal Alexis Wallace. “He has been actively involved in our school as a referee, a coach, and a statistician. Joe has a phenomenal understanding of the history and the game of basketball. His insight into the Proviso West Holiday Tournament goes above and beyond that of anyone else that we have involved with the tournament. Mr. Spagnolo is truly an asset to the game of basketball and to Proviso West High School.”
Spagnolo has not only served Proviso, but he has also been active across the state of Illinois.
Now out of active coaching, Spagnolo has filled his winters as a successful varsity boys’ basketball official in the greater Chicago area working in eight different conferences. He has been a registered athletic official for the past 29 years and umpired the entire 2003 Williamsport Senior League State Baseball Tournament in Illinois. He also celebrated his 100th NCAA Tournament game in 2000.
Spagnolo said it is great be recognized for simply doing what he loves.
“Everyday I have the opportunity to do things that some people only get to do once in their lifetime,” said Spagnolo. “I’m very thankful for that. I can honestly say that I really enjoy everything I do and it just doesn’t get any better.”
Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for April 24, at Illinois State University.