Lifetime Achievement

Football Coach Mike Pettine Jr.
To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (July 14, 2017) – The Pettine name has been synonymous with the sport of football throughout the region for years. The late Mike Pettine was a star player at Conshohocken High and Villanova University, then made a national name as a football coach at Central Bucks West High School and was in the second class of inductees in the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame.

Now his son, Mike Pettine Jr. will stand in the spotlight when he receives the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th annual induction banquet on Tuesday, November 21 at Normandy Farm in Blue Bell.

Pettine Jr. played football for his father at CB West, earning all-state honors as a quarterback and defensive back. He then played free safety for the University of Virginia.

After graduating from college, he embarked on his own very distinguished coaching career.

After serving as a graduate assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, he became an assistant to his father at CB West. He followed with head coaching jobs at North Penn High School and William Tennent High School. After a short, but successful high school coaching career, he took a position as a scout in 2001 for the Baltimore Ravens and began a career in the National Football League. He was promoted to linebacker coach in 2005.

Under head coach Rex Ryan, Pettine became the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets in 2009 and was credited with contributing strongly to the team’s ranking as the No. 1 defense in the NFL that year. He then went to the Buffalo Bills as defensive coordinator for one year in 2013.

In 2014 he was hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns and spent two seasons in that position.

Though Pettine’s term of service as a coach in Montgomery County was not long enough to qualify him for induction into the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame (reserved for those born in the county or who coached 10 years in the county), Pettine’s contributions to the local football scene made him a candidate for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to the celebration of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pettine Jr. on the night of the banquet, there also will be a special tribute made to his father, who died on February 24 of this year.

“There was unanimous support for both of these motions at our Selection Committee meeting,” said Dale Hood, president of the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame. “The amount of respect for both the father and son throughout the community is amazing.”

When contacted about the award, and the accompanying tribute to his father, Pettine Jr. was quite moved. “This will be a very special evening for myself and my family,” said Pettine. “I feel very honored to be recognized by the same organization that inducted my father.”

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award, Pettine will join a quartet of new inductees on the dais at the November banquet. They include Plymouth Whitemarsh High School basketball coach Jim Donofrio, retired Souderton High boys’ volleyball coach Will Lapp, Gwynedd Mercy Academy girls’ basketball coach Tom Lonergan and Methacton High softball and girls’ tennis coach Cathy Miller.

The four members of the new induction class, along with the yet-to-be-announced members of the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame Honor Roll (for volunteer coaches) will be inducted at the November 21 banquet.

Tickets for the banquet are available for purchase by contacting any member of the Hall of Fame Advisory Board. Additional information can be obtained by going to the website – www.mcchof.com or by calling the banquet management office at 610-279-9220.

 

Cheltenham High Grad Craig Littlepage Named 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

NORRISTOWN, Pa.  – One of the greatest basketball players ever to come out of Cheltenham High, a star player at the University of Pennsylvania, head basketball coach at Penn and Rutgers, and athletic director of national prominence at the University of Virginia. Those are just some of the reasons Craig Littlepage has been selected to receive the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame.

Littlepage will be part of the star-studded dais for the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame’s 15th annual induction banquet on Tuesday, November 22 at Normandy Farm in Blue Bell.

Littlepage will join five new inductees during what has become the biggest night of sports annually in Montgomery County.

The newest class of inductees includes Maggie de Marteleire, who has more than 500 wins as girls basketball coach at North Penn High School and formerly at Lansdale Catholic High; the late Pete Lewis, who formed the foundation of the sports programs at Norristown High; retired Penn Charter baseball coach Rick Mellor; Gwynedd Mercy University women’s basketball coach Keith Mondillo; and James Madison University field hockey coach Christy Morgan.

“This is quite an honor for me to be recognized in Montgomery County. I am very humbled and have so many people to thank for their support,” said Littlepage. “I have many fond memories of those days playing basketball, and later, coaching and recruiting in the area. I look forward to re-connecting with so many friends and colleagues on the night of the banquet.”

After leading Cheltenham to the PIAA state championship game in 1968, Littlepage embarked on a storied career at the University of Pennsylvania. He was part of the 1970-’71 team that went 28-1 and was inducted as a unit into the Big 5 Hall of Fame. He played on three Penn teams that reached the NCAA Eastern Regionals.

Upon graduation from Penn’s Wharton School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in economics, he embarked on his coaching career – assistant coach positions at Villanova, Yale, and from 1976 to 1982 at Virginia.

After three seasons as head coach at Penn (1982-1985) and three more at Rutgers (1985-1988), Littlepage returned to UVA for his second stint as an assistant. He started his administrative ascent in 1990.

In 2001 he was named the school’s athletic director – making him the first black director of athletics in Atlantic Coast Conference history. His ground-breaking achievements didn’t stop there.

In 2003 he was named the Black Coaches Association’s “Athletics Administrator of the Year.” He was tapped for the same honor in 2006. He was also on Sports Illustrated’s list of the 101 most influential minorities in sports in 2003 and 2004.

Littlepage currently leads a comprehensive 25-sport athletics program that routinely competes for championships and national rankings in many sports. At the same time, UVA student-athletes annually rank among the top Division I-A public universities in the country in graduation rates.

Nationally, Littlepage has made a name for himself as one of the most respected college administrators in the country. In February 2002, he was appointed to the 10-member Division I Men’s Basketball Committee by the NCAA and served a five-year term which was completed Aug. 31, 2007. In 2005-06, Littlepage served as the chair of the Men’s Division I Basketball Committee and administered its selection process.

Littlepage and his wife, Margaret, have three children: two daughters Erica and Erin, both nurses, and a son, Murray, an athletics administrator at Tulane University.

“We hope Craig is as excited about coming back to be honored in his home area as we are to be bringing him back,” said Selection Committee Chairman Gordon Glantz. “His credentials are amazing and his presence certainly will add to the evening.”

Littlepage and the five members of the new induction class, along with the yet-to-be-announced members of the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame Honor Roll (for volunteer coaches) will be inducted at the November 22 banquet.

Tickets for the banquet are available for purchase by contacting any member of the Hall of Fame Advisory Board. Additional information can be obtained by going to the website – www.mcchof.com or by calling the banquet management office at 610-279-9220.