John Pigatti — Head Coach
Coach Pigatti is in his 11th year as head coach of the Bulldogs and has accumulated a tremendous career coaching record of 291-62 (.824).
Pigatti’s record in the post season is 41-11. In 2015-16 his team finished 34-3, which was tied for the best record in the country. It was also the best record in school’s history. His team placed 3rd at the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. It was the best finish at the National Tournament for SSC in its’ history. That team included the NJCAA Division II National Player-of-the-Year; Jovan Mooring. Pigatti’s Bulldogs are only team in the country that has placed at the National Tournament 7 times in the last 10 seasons. In 2011-12 Pigatti’s Bulldogs finished 3rd at the NJCAA National Championships as well.
Coach Pigatti has set numerous records as a head coach. He is the only coach in college basketball history (including NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA) that has had eight 1st Team All-Americans in his first ten years as a head coach (he has had 9 total All-Americans in 10 years). He has won 7 Region IV Championships; his teams have been to 7 NJCAA Division II National Championships in ten years. His teams have also been ranked #1 in the country. For the first time in school’s history they appeared in three straight NJCAA Division II National Championships during 2007-2009. He repeated that feat from 2011-2014. He has had 6 teams finish with 30+ wins in his 10 years as a head coach (which also is the first time that was been done in school’s history). His teams have also been ranked in the top ten every season since he has been at South Suburban College.
Pigatti also knows how to win on his home court. He has complied at 154-11 (.933) home record during his ten seasons at South Suburban College. From February 2007-November 2009, Pigatti’s teams also set another record; as they compiled a 34-game home winning streak. During that streak his teams had 2 straight seasons going undefeated at home. Pigatti has been named the Coach-of-the Year in Region IV, District 4, and by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association seven times (2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, and 2007).
More importantly, all but one of the sophomores Pigatti recruited have signed a scholarship to play at a 4-year college or university. The eight 1st Team All-American are: Jovan Mooring (’16), Lavell Boyd (’15), Antonio Levy (’14), Michael Harris (’13), James Harris (’11), Tremell Adams (’10) Nick Carey (’09), and Kris Harris (’07). He also has had seven MVP’s of the Regional IV Tournament: Jovan Mooring (’16), Antonio Levy (’14), Michael Harris (2013 & 2012) Bradley Birton (’09), Larry Swann (’08), and Kris Harris (’07).
Coach Pigatti came to SSC from St. Francis University in Loretto, PA where he was the head assistant men’s basketball coach and recruiting coordinator. At St. Francis, Pigatti was an integral part of signing the number one recruiting class in the Northeast Conference. Also, the 2004-05 season record was the school’s best in 8 years.
During the 2003-04 season Pigatti helped Kent State to a 22-9 final record, a Mid-American Conference (MAC) Eastern Division championship and a berth in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
Prior to his one-year stint at Kent State, Pigatti served as an assistant coach at Elmhurst College-IL (1987-89), Creighton University (1989-91), Texas A&M University (1991-92), Western Michigan University (1992-94), Saint Joseph’s College-IN (1994-95), the University of Akron (1995-01), and Chicago State University (2002-03).
During Pigatti’s tenure as an assistant at Akron, the Zips captured the most MAC wins for any team in the league from 1997-01, including a MAC Eastern Division title in 1998. He helped recruit two Mr. Basketball award winners, including Jimmal Ball, who was voted one of the top 15 freshman players in the country by USA today and ESPN. At Creighton University, he helped lead the Blue Jays to back to back 20 win seasons. Creighton also won the MVC title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tourney. He is also the head coach of the Five Star Basketball Camp, where he instructed several top 100 high school players in the country.
A 1985 graduate of the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Pigatti earned a master’s degree of business administration from Creighton in 1993. He served as President of the National Assistant Basketball Coaches Committee for six years (1996-01).
Pigatti and his wife, Kimberly, have a daughter Ashley Jo, and a son, Andrew John.
Mark Carpenter — Assistant Coach
Coach Carpenter is in his 12th season as an assistant coach at South Suburban College, and his tenth under Coach Pigatti. Mark is a former Bulldog player who led the 1986 team to a 31-4 record, while during that year setting a school record for consecutive victories at 21. That team also finished 3rd at the National Tournament.
Mark was named as the team’s MVP and also collected 1st Team All-Conference, and 2nd Team All-Region honors that year. Mark also set the school’s all-time season assists record at 432, which was good for a 12.3 assist per game average.
Mark continued his collegiate playing career at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. During his junior season at UAA, the team participated in the NCAA Division II National Tournament, and got all the way to the championship game before losing, At UAA, Carp tied the record for most games played in one season at 34.
Mark has four children: Myah, Ashanti, Jiovane, and Marquise.
Eric M. Stanley — Assistant Coach
Coach Stanley is entering his first year as an Assistant Coach at South Suburban College.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs staff, Coach Stanley was the Associate Head Coach for two years at Don Bosco Prep, located in Crown Point Indiana. There he was responsible for player development, scouting, and recruiting amongst other duties.
Coach Stanley has also coached at St. Rita High School in Chicago, Team Rose AAU, SYF AAU and has coached at the prestigious Five Star Basketball Camp.
Eric will be completing his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management at Calumet College St. Joseph’s in April of 2017.
Coach Stanley is engaged to the beautiful Candace Mack and they have a one-year-old daughter, Peyton Elizabeth Stanley.
Omar Vasquez — Assistant Coach
Omar was the Head Boys Basketball Coach at William A. Wirt H.S. Indiana from 1990-2009. At Wirt he won over 215 games, had 50+ players go on to play at the college level, including 10 DI players and 3 top 50 JC All American Honorees. He led Wirt High school to Several Upsets of top ranked teams including the #1 Team in the State and #9 team in the country Warsaw H.S. in 1993. Coach Vasquez also led his teams to the Final 8 in 2007 3A tournament, four sectional finals, Several Northwestern Conference titles and a NWC Holiday Title. He holds the school record for most wins at Wirt High School. He also was named the Northwest Indiana All-Star game head coach in 1996. From 2006-2009 he was a member of the Indiana Junior Basketball Showcase coaching staff, which featured the state’s best underclassmen.
His coaching career started as the Student Assistant at the University of Dayton (NCAA), under legendary Don Donoher. Dayton lost in first round of 1984 NCAA tournament to eventual NCAA National Champion Villanova, in which was considered the most difficult game Villanova played during the Tournament.
After college he went to San Jose High School Varsity and J.V. Coach. There is teams won two Commonwealth State Titles in 1983 & 1984. His most renowned player was Center Ramon Ramos who eventually led Seton Hall to the NCAA title game in 1989.
Coach Vasquez has also worked at several scouting services camps such as Five Star, Metro Index and Blue Chip.
Coach Vazquez is married to Laura Medina, a former Puerto Rican beauty queen. They have three children; Marie (25) an IPFW speech therapist student, Andrew (19) an Army veteran deployed in Iraq and Laurie (13).
He presently works as a Health/P.E. teacher with the Gary Community School Corporation and is a University of Dayton graduate (1985).