South Jersey coaches comment on Paul Rodio's impending 900th win

St. Augustine Prep coach Paul Rodio during the 2016 season.

South Jersey basketball coaches react to St. Augustine Prep coach Paul Rodio’s approach to 900 career victories.

Gene Allen, Atlantic City: “I can’t even imagine. I watched him coach the other night against [Wildwood Catholic] and I was amazed at how much enthusiasm he still has for the game. What I admire most is his ability to relate to his players. The game is played vastly different from when he first started and so are the players, yet he hasn’t missed a beat.”

John Valore, Camden: “It all starts with the support system. You don’t coach six decades at one place without tremendous support from home starting with his wife and the kids growing up. Without that, it doesn’t happen. You’re not going to find another coach like Paul who is as organized as he is, who puts in the hours like he does, in June, all through the offseason. That’s where 900 wins comes from.”

Jay Flanagan, Rancocas Valley: “To an average guy like me, it [900 wins] is seemingly unimaginable. Regardless of all the talented players he has had over the years, to win that amount for so long is awesome. Paul is easy for root for because above all else he is an inherently good man.”

Paul Wiedeman, Haddonfield: “Besides the obvious of having to average 30 wins for 30 years, it’s the ability to stay relevant over those many years of coaching and maintain energy and enthusiasm to challenge kids to reach their fullest potential year in and year out. I marvel at how his program is as strong as it’s ever been and we’ll be commenting on his 1,000th victory in the very near future.”

Dave DeWeese, Wildwood Catholic: “The longstanding success of the basketball program that Coach Rodio built at St. Augustine is incredible. His ability to prepare his teams to compete at the highest level year after year is unmatched. I have the highest respect for him as a coach and a person.”

Dave Allen, Cherry Hill East: “I’ve never called Paul Rodio Paul. Never. It’s always been Coach Rodio with a capital ‘C.’ Calling him a great coach is a given. But he’s also a great person, a class act all the way. He’s authentic, and he’s always willing to help and compliment a young coach.”

Shawn Anstey, Moorestown: “That’s an accomplishment few coaches will ever reach. I only need 780 more wins. That’s the equivalent to about 35 more years of 20-win seasons. That’s unbelievable.”

Kevin Crawford, Eastern: “Coach Rodio is better measured by the players he’s coached and the men they have become than wins and losses. I’m friends with Mike Kouser and Brandan Fagan and former players like [Chris] Carideo, etc., and they are all successful and learned how to be men from Coach Rodio.”

Eric Cassidy, Cherokee: “What a great accomplishment. He has done a great job and his teams are always well prepared. His players approach the game the right way.”

Mike Ricci, Haddon Heights: “Nine hundred wins is an amazing accomplishment. Coach Rodio’s teams have always been competitive, they’ve always played the game the right away and he’s done it with class.”

By the Numbers

South Jersey leaders in coaching victories

(Through Thursday)

898 – Paul Rodio, St. Augustine*

775 – Clarence Turner, Camden

743 – Paul Collins, Willingboro, Riverside, Burlington City*

719 – Tom Feraco, Middle Twp.

713 – Jim Crawford, Camden Catholic

657 – John Valore, Cherry Hill East, Cumberland, Camden*

646 – Joe Kessler, Shawnee

625 — Lou Schantz, Salem

State leaders in coaching victories

1,185 – Bob Hurley, St. Anthony

900 – Jerry Malloy, St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s, St. Michael’s

898 – Paul Rodio, St. Augustine*

777 – Bob Farrell, Seton Hall Prep

775 – Clarence Turner, Camden

769 – Marty Rivard, Cresskill, Bergenfield

743 – Paul Collins, Willingboro, Riverside, Burlington City*

719 – Tom Feraco, Middle Twp.

713 – Jim Crawford, Camden Catholic

705 – Dick O’Connell, Rutgers Prep

* active coach

Coaching leaders courtesy of Chuck Langerman, New Jersey sports historian.