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Old Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:41am
Do not give a damn!!
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: On the border
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Famous coach passes away.

Gene Pingatore has passed away

I normally would not post something like this. But for the record, this is one of the coaches from the movie "Hoop Dreams." He coached Isiah Thomas, Daryl Thomas (who was on the floor when Bobby Knight threw the infamous chair) and Evan Turner who is currently in the NBA. "Ping" as we called him was the winningest coach in IHSA history as well with more than 1000 wins.

He was a very good coach and a good person. If you ever had one of his games he rarely said a word to you as an official. He even said at a banquet, "The time I complain to an official, is the time I do not have the opportunity to coach my kid."

He was a class act and a great coach to work for. You hardly knew he was there. My first state final assignment, his team won his second title that year in 2015.

And ironically I had his team on Monday and asked about him as he was not there. His assistant said he was sick and left it at that. I even pressed because of his age, I was thinking it might be more serious. I did not think two days later we would be writing his obituary.

Rest well Ping. Great person to officials and kids as well.

"When the phone does not ring, the assignor is calling."

Charles Michael “Mick” Chambers (1947-2010)
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Old Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:22am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Nice legacy.
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Old Mon Jul 01, 2019, 09:28am
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Location: Indiana
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I remember Hoop Dreams and that Coach. Seems like he was one of the good ones. I like his comment about talking to the officials.

What ever happened with those two kids they featured in Hoop Dreams? (and for the record, I could Google it but didn't).

EDIT---OK, I did look it up...

Thanks for sharing, Rut.

Last edited by RefsNCoaches; Mon Jul 01, 2019 at 09:34am.
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