Dinner will honor four high school basketball coaching greats

Gregg Downer has won 559 games in 28 seasons at Lower Merion.

The second annual Coaches vs. Cancer high school legends dinner will be held Wednesday, April 4, at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken.

Four coaches will be honored: Lower Merion’s Gregg Downer, Simon Gratz’s Bill Ellerbee, Downingtown East’s Bob Schnure, and Camden Catholic’s Jim Crawford.

The other honoree is Dick Jerardi, who was a longtime college basketball writer for the Daily News.

Camera icon CHARLES FOX
Lower Merion’s Gregg Downer reacts to an official’s call during a Central League game at Garnet Valley in January.

Downer, the lone active coach among the four, has compiled a 559-245 record (.695 winning percentage) in 28 seasons with the Aces. He has guided the squad to 14 Central League championships, three state titles, and a PIAA District 1 Class 4A crown.

Downer is Lower Merion’s career wins leader. In 2010, he eclipsed the old mark of 346 set by the legendary Bill Anderson from 1928 to 1945.

Camera icon MARK C PSORAS
Bill Ellerbee was head at Simon Gratz and an assistant under John Chaney at Temple.

Ellerbee posted a 451-100 record (.819) and won six Public League championships at Gratz from 1983 to 2002. He went on to be an assistant at Temple under former boss John Chaney.

Camera icon CLEM MURRAY / FILE PHOTO
Bob Schnure coached the girls’ basketball team at the old Downingtown and Downingtown East for 35 years.

In 35 years as the girls’ coach at the old Downingtown and Downingtown East, which opened in 2003, Schnure went 791-244 (.764) and won 11 District 1 Class 4A titles and five state crowns.

Crawford won 713 games in 35 seasons at Camden Catholic. He led the Irish to three state championships, seven sectional titles, and 10 Olympic Conference crowns.

Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT / FILE PHOTO
Jim Crawford won 713 games in 35 seasons at Camden Catholic.

Crawford ranked third in South Jersey in all-time coaching victories when he retired in 2013, trailing only Camden’s Clarence Turner (775) and St. Augustine Prep’s Paul Rodio (781) at the time. He is now an assistant to his son, Matt, at Camden Catholic.

To purchase tickets, tables or a program, go to www.main.acsevents.org/legendsdinner or contact Alyssa Spiotta at Alyssa.Spiotta@cancer.org or 215-985-5356.