Art DiPatri, Honorary
Art DiPatri was one of the most legendary basketball coaches in the history of South Jersey. After graduating from St. John’s University, he began a long teaching and coaching career.
He successfully guided four different high school boys' basketball programs, Gloucester Catholic, Woodrow Wilson and Gloucester High, and then won two state championships with Paul VI over his 22-year coaching career. His teams were always well prepared and fundamentally sound.
Mr. DiPatri served as the PVI head boys basketball coach from 1973 to 1987. Over the next 14 years, he compiled a 230-140 record and captured two State championships, first in 1980 and again in 1983. Over the next 14 years the PVI Eagles were amongst the top teams in the area and his epic battles with Camden and its coach Clarence Turner became some of the most memorable games in area history. He retired from coaching for good following the 1987 season but he left the Paul VI program in good shape as the Eagles won another state title in 1988, under coach Steve Selby.
The players he coached consider it a privilege of having played for Coach DiPatri. To many, he was a monumental life influence, and was considered so much more than a basketball coach - a teacher, a friend, and a mentor as well. He pushed and challenged his players to excel at anything they put their minds to. He instilled in them the passion to achieve anything through discipline, teamwork, honesty, and hard work.
Mike Androlewicz ’82 once said, “I believe I speak for many others who passed through the Paul VI basketball program under Coach DiPatri. I look at men today who played for Coach DiPatri years ago and I see them in successful careers, being good sons, good fathers, and good husbands, and think that Coach DiPatri had a big influence on them as well.
The Paul VI community lost a legend when he died suddenly on January 12, 2011. Coach DiPatri also reveled in his love and fondness of his wife, Sheila and his four children, Patricia, Art Jr., Kevin, Megan, and his seven grandchildren.