ND coaching legend announces 2021-22 will be his final hoops season
Mike Rapone, longtime Basketball Coach at Notre Dame HS, has informed the school that the upcoming 2021-2022 season will be his final one at the helm of one of Section V’s most successful boys basketball programs.
His final season will be his 42nd Varsity season and 45th season coaching basketball at ND.
On March 3rd, 2010, he surpassed legendary coach Ed Nietopski’ s 545 career wins to become Section V’s All-Time winningest coach. Coach Rapone has a Varsity record of 708-208 (Winning percentage 77.3) while his JV record of 47-7 includes consecutive unbeaten seasons in 1979 & 1980. Rapone coached teams won State Titles in 1992 & 2001, five regional titles, nine Section V titles (tied for the most all-time of any Section V coach), and 33 Genesee Region Division Championships.
He was inducted into the Section V Boys Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and Notre Dame HS Hall of Fame in 1996.
Winning the 2001 State Championship team provided one of the special memories of his distinguished coaching career as the roster included 11 players (of 13) that were sons of Coach Rapone’s Notre Dame High School classmate, his childhood friends or neighbors from LeRoy and included his son Mikey, his nephew and assistant coach Dave Pero’s son Jeff.
In the past 15 seasons, Coach Rapone feels blessed to have had the opportunity to work closely with his son Mikey watching him learn how to coach as he worked his way up from program assistant to JV Head coach to his current position as Varsity Associate Head Coach. This experience and time together with his son have made coaching at Notre Dame even more fulfilling.
When asked about why now to retire, Coach Rapone commented. “I always said I would know when it was time to move on from the job that I love. Being a basketball coach here has been a big part of my life but it is time. Coaching at Notre Dame provided me with the opportunity to help young men learn how to compete and work as a team while personally growing and maturing as individuals. I take great pride in the adults my players have become. Even though I will miss coaching, the time spent together with the team, and the thrill of competition, it is time for me to move on.”
The school will name Coach Rapone’s successor before the start of the upcoming season to ensure continuity and a smooth transition in the spring. Resumes can be submitted until Oct. 3 to [email protected] or [email protected]
Photo: File photo