Two weeks ago Steve DiPatri worked with optimism on next season’s schedule for the Sacred Heart High School girls basketball team.
DiPatri through the Lions with their returning players and host of talented newcomers would be among the state’s best teams.
But then the Camden Diocese announced last week that the Vineland school would close because of low enrollment.
It didn’t take DiPatri, one of the most successful girls coaches in Cape-Atlantic League history, to find a new team to coach.
DiPatri confirmed Friday he is the new coach of the Wildwood Catholic girls basketball team.
“I didn’t know where my future was going to take me,” DiPatri said. “There were a couple of opportunities out there but this is the one that’s best for me.”
DiPatri coached the Lions to a 352-89 record in 15 seasons. He led Sacred Heart to two state titles (2003 and 2005). The Lions won the CAL title in 2012 and lost to Holy Spirit in the title game this March.
DiPatri coached some of the best girls basketball players in CAL history, including Adrienne Rochetti, Ikea Witt and Ashley Durham.
DiPatri, 43, noted that Wildwood Catholic was a girls basketball power in the 1970s and 1980s.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m looking forward to building the program back to its past glory.”