Apr 4, 2014, 9:53 AM EST
While at Notre Dame, Monogram winner Frank Allocco (’76) may have been best known as a quarterback and member of the 1973 national championship football team.
These days, Allocco is quarterbacking a different squad.
In 27 seasons as a high school basketball coach in California, the former two-sport Irish student-athlete has won three state championships and more than 600 games.
On Wednesday, Allocco had the honor of leading some of the sport’s brightest young stars, coaching the West team in the 37th McDonald’s All-American Game at the United Center in Chicago.
Known for his animated sideline demeanor, Allocco was recently the subject of a great feature by Mitch Stephens for MaxPreps.com. Stephens, who has covered Allocco’s De La Salle program since the early 1990’s, writes:
After 15 years of stomping, he had knee surgery eight years ago and doctors told him he couldn’t stomp any more. But, when a point needs to be made at a crucial time, Allocco ignores the doctor’s orders.
Allocco, of course, is no different than most animated basketball coaches who are all out there for the world to sit and judge. It’s not like most other sports where the actions and words of a coach are largely out of sight and earshot.
Basketball coaches are Hamlet on center stage with spotlights and packed gymnasiums glaring.
The good ones, like Allocco, don’t break character. Their aim is to build it. If fans are a little uncomfortable watching the process, so be it. It’s not about him. It’s not about them.
The truth is, it’s hard to find a warmer, more generous and charming person around sport than Allocco. The 59-year-old greets with a two-hand shake, if not an embrace. He inquires about family. He smiles warmly and compliments freely.
Click here to read Stephens’ full story.
Throughout the week, Allocco also kept a daily blog of the journey. Check out the posts below when you have some time.