John Pigatti

John Pigatti

John Pigatti coached the South Suburban College Bulldogs to their first National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Championship in 16 years. His team finished with a perfect 33-0 record and defeated Davidson-Davie Community College, 79-63.

Over his 17 year career, he has won 12 Region IV championships and is one of the top coaches in Division II. His teams have been ranked #1 in the nation on numerous occasions.

Early Life and Education

john pigatti has been involved in the development of early childhood education and care (ECEC) as a social determinant of health. He has worked with government officials and policy makers, as well as the private sector to develop programs and policies that promote healthy child development.

A wide variety of part-day and full-school-day, private, public, and commercial ECEC programmes are available in the United States. These are designed sometimes with an emphasis on the “care” component of ECEC, and at other times with an equal focus on the “education” aspect of ECEC.

Despite increased attention to ECEC in the past decades, the picture is still fragmented, with most infants, toddlers, and preschool children attending either private or public family day care or pre-school programs. However, these programs are often not well funded or deliver poor quality.

Professional Career

John Pigatti has built South Suburban College into a powerhouse in the Chicago area. The Bulldogs have won 12 regional championships and recently captured a NJCAA Division II national title.

The 16-year veteran coach has a 496-85 (.854) record and has been named the region’s coach of the year 12 times. He is also a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region IV Hall of Fame.

His coaching credentials are unmatched by many and he is the only coach in the state of Illinois to have coached a team to a national championship. The Bulldogs won the title this past weekend, defeating Davidson-Davie Community College in the national tournament in Danville, Illinois. The winning shot was a buzzer-beating triple from point guard Kareem Donatlan.

Achievements and Honors

A fiery coach with an eye for perfection, john pigatti helped South Suburban College claim its first National Junior College Athletic Association Division II championship. Pigatti’s Bulldogs went 33-0 and broke a lot of hearts en route to their title win.

Head coach for 17 seasons at SSC, Pigatti compiled a coaching record of 480-88 (.845) with a 265-15 (.946) home record. He was inducted into the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame this year.

During his career, Pigatti has been named Region IV Coach of the Year 12 times. He has also coached 16 All-Americans, as well as three National Players of the Year and 13 to the 1st team. He received the National Two-Year College Coach of the Year award last season.

Personal Life

John Pigatti is a master chef, a certified gemologist and the owner of Mama Lena’s, an Italian restaurant in Fargo ND. He had a 15 year marriage to Shirley Liebenow, and was known as a generous family man.

Pigatti racked up 18 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, primarily as an assistant coach at places like Kent State University, Elmhurst College-IL, Creighton University, Texas A&M University, Western Michigan University and Saint Joseph’s College-IN.

He has a 342-66 record and was able to help propel South Suburban College in the NJCAA Division II to the big dance eight times. The most important part of his career has been securing a number of coveted Division I scholarships for the students he mentored. He will miss his students and the opportunity to see them in action.

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