PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When his Villanova women’s basketball team beat Iona earlier this month, Wildcats head coach Harry Perretta (center in photo) punched his ticket to an exclusive club. He became the 35th coach in the history of women’s basketball (22nd in Division I) to win 600 games as a head coach.
While it is an impressive milestone, the 34-year head coach veteran is quick to keep it in perspective.
“I think it’s more telling of the number of years I’ve been coaching, than a great accomplishment,” Perretta says.
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Harry Perretta:
Every one of Perretta’s victories has come at Villanova. He is one of just seven 600-win coaches to record every victory at one school. Win #1 came back in 1978 against then Philadelphia Textile (now Philadelphia University) and that was one of many memorable W’s along the way for the coach.
“I think that winning the Big East Championship three different times, those three games really stand out in my mind. I think getting to the Final Four (1982) was a big deal, I think those are the games you remember.”
Perretta was 22-years-old when he picked up that first victory back in ’78, so has he changed from win #1 to #600?
“I don’t think I’ve changed dramatically, our style is still the same. I think we up tempo a little bit more than we did years ago, but I think the style is basically the same thing. We’re a motion-type offense so we kind of play the same way we did years ago.”
But Perretta says time has helped him manage the range of emotions a basketball season can provide.
“I think that as you get older, you have to put things in perspective more, so I think you don’t get as high (after victories) or try not to get as low (after losses). I think if you’re going to stay in this game a long time you have to manage that each year and get better at it.”
So what keeps Perretta going?
“My love of the kids on the team and my love of Villanova, it’s such a great place to be at and work at and it’s just a place that you just want to get up in the morning and go to everyday.”
Perretta will go for career win #602 on Saturday as his Villanova team hosts University of the Sciences.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060