“I Just Love to Coach”

by Marc Narducci | May 15, 2024
“I Just Love to Coach”
When Anthony Corrado left as Rancocas Valley’s girls basketball coach this spring after 21 seasons, he said he was resigning, but not retiring from coaching.

True to his word, Corrado is back as a head coach, having recently been hired to guide the West Deptford girls’ basketball program. 

For Corrado, 51, it means coming full circle, returning to the Colonial Conference, where he has deep roots.

He is a 1991 graduate of Sterling and then earned his first coaching assignment as an assistant girls’ coach at another Colonial school Haddon Heights, before taking over at Rancocas Valley.

“I am excited,” Corrado said. “It’s going to be a new venture and I am going back to where I started in the Colonial Conference where there are great rivalries.”

One thing that Corrado realizes is that building a program means bringing many factions together. 

“I am looking forward to getting to know the West Deptford community and making my name there,” he said. 

Building a program means getting everybody involved.

He said he will be meeting with the middle school players next week.

“I am going to do a clinic or camp this summer and really want to start looking at the lower grades 3-5 and get them interested in basketball,” he said. “Hopefully we will get good numbers and have good success.”

Corrado had great success at Rancocas Valley, with 415 career wins. He guided the Red Devils to state Group 4 titles in 2011 and 2013.

“You have to have talent to win state titles,” he said. “A good coach can help, but if you don’t have the talent, it won’t matter.”

Yet he understands, it is more than just talent.

“You have to have talent, you have to be healthy, and have selfless kids willing to play together,” he said.

An example of that was his 2013 state Group 4 title team that advanced all the way to the Tournament of Champions before losing to Shabazz. 

The Red Devils’ selflessness came from the 2013 team. All season long, the Red Devils only had a player score 20 or more points three times. That means there was plenty of ball movement and a unit playing like a team.

Corrado replaces Mark Petito, who resigned to take the head coaching job at Colonial Conference foe Haddon Township. 

Corrado takes over a West Deptford team that went 11-17 last season, but was competitive against many opponents, with five losses by six or fewer points.

The Eagles will return several key players, but will have to replace leading scorer, senior guard Janie Cross, who averaged 12 points per game. 

Several other major contributors return, led by current sophomore Dae’Onna Lawrence, the Eagles’ second leading scorer (6.8 ppg.). 

Corrado wants to go into his new job with an open mind.

“They lost their best player, but have three or four young kids who got a lot of experience,” he said. “I want to go in with a clean slate and try to figure it out on my own.”

So there will be no preconceived notions. 

“It is best to go in cold and give everybody a fair shake,” he said. 

Corrado has coached teams that loved to get out in transition and others that were successful playing a half-court game.

“The beauty is I have coached both styles and will adapt to the personnel I have,” he said. 

One thing is undeniable – Corrado has as much enthusiasm for this new job as he did when he first became a head coach more than two decades ago.

“I just love to coach,” he said. “I am really thankful to be coaching at West Deptford.”

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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