John Pigatti — Head Coach
Coach Pigatti just completed his 12th year as head coach of the Bulldogs and has accumulated a tremendous career coaching record of 353-71 (.833).
Pigatti’s record in the post season is 50-14. Two of his past three teams placed 3rd at the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. He has had two National-Players-of-the-Year in the last 6 seasons: Jovan Mooring (2016), and Michael Harris (2013). Pigatti has also had 27 All Region IV Players, and 9 Region IV Players-of-the-Year. His Bulldogs are only team in the country that has qualified for the National Tournament 9 times in the last 12 seasons (they have also placed 8 times). 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 nine 1st Team All-Americans in his first eleven years as a head coach (he has had 10 total All-Americans in 12 years). He has won nine Region IV Championships. His teams have been ranked #1 in the country on numerous occasions. For the first time in school’s history, they appeared in three straight NJCAA Division II National Championships during 2007-2009. That feat was accomplished on two more occasions: 2011-2014 and 2016-2018. He has had seven teams finish with 30+ wins in his 12 years as a head coach (which also is the first time that was been done in school’s history). His teams have 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 187-11 (.944) home record during his twelve seasons at South Suburban College Six of his teams have gone undefeated at home during the season. Pigatti has been named the Coach-of-the Year in Region IV, District 3/4, and by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, nine times (2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, and 2007). He was also named the 2017 College Insider’s Jack Bennet Man-of-the-Year.
More importantly, the sophomores Pigatti recruited sign a scholarship to play at a 4-year college or university. The nine 1st Team All-American are: Rasheide Bell (2017), 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 nine MVP’s of the Regional IV Tournament: Jordan Matthews (‘18), Rasheide Bell (’17), Jovan Mooring (’16), Antonio Levy (’14), Michael Harris (‘13 & ‘12) 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. In addition, the 2004-05 season record was the schools’ 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 also has been the head coach of the Five Star Basketball Camp, where he instructed several top 100 high school players in the country. He has instructed at many basketball camps and clinics around the country and abroad.
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.
Eddie Denard — Assistant Coach
Eddie Denard heads into his first season as an assistant for the South Suburban Bulldogs after
most recently being the head coach of the Chicago Ballers in the Junior Basketball Association.
Before coaching in the JBA, Denard returned back for a second stint with the Chicago State Cougars as an assistant for the 2016-17 & 17-18 seasons after spending the 2015-16 season at Lewis University, where he helped guide the Flyers to an NCAA Division II Tournament berth and captured the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Championship.
During the 2014-15 season, Denard worked on the Cougars’ coaching staff for CSU Head Coach Tracy Dildy after starring as a player under Dildy in 2013-14. He helped the Cougars advance to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament as a No. 3 seed in his lone season.
The Chicago native was a two-time academic all-conference selection at Chicago State and New Orleans. As a sophomore, Denard was an Honorable Mention NJCAA All-America selection at Kirkwood Community College, where he was also named to the All Region and All Conference teams.
Upon his graduation from Chicago State, Denard spent three months playing professionally in China before a knee injury ended his playing career. During the summer of 2016, Denard was the head coach of an American Professional Select Team that went on a tour in China to play against the Chinese National Team while helping them prepare for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Denard played high school basketball at Chicago’s Foreman High School. Denard left the school as the all-time leader in double-doubles and rebounds. He was ranked as one of the top players in the state of Illinois while earning all-city and all-conference honors in his sophomore and senior seasons in high school.
Denard currently resides in Chicago and has a daughter, Aubrey.
Kamrein Street — Assistant Coach
Kamrein Street, a native of Francesville, Indiana, is in his first season as an assistant men’s basketball coach at South Suburban Community College with Coach John Pigatti.
Street was a four (4) year starter and three (3) year team captain for the Lincoln Christian University men’s basketball team. He was named Defensive Player of the Year and was known for his leadership skills on and off the court for the NAIA school in Lincoln, Illinois.
Coach Street is no stranger to basketball coaching. He assisted with the LCU junior varsity team and prepared scouting reports for the varsity squad as a player. Starting in 2014, he was a coach for the famed Five Star Basketball Camp, where he instructed several top high school players. He has also coached at numerous basketball camps around the country and in Scotland.
Coach Street is a 2018 Lincoln Christian University graduate with a BA in Business Administration.