John Pigatti — Head Coach
Coach Pigatti is in his 12th year as head coach of the Bulldogs and has accumulated a tremendous career coaching record of 326-63 (.838).
Pigatti’s record in the post season is 47-12. His last 2 teams placed 3rd at the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. He has had two National-Players-of-the-Year in the last 5 seasons; Jovan Mooring (2016), and Michael Harris (2013). Pigatti has also had 25 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 8 times in the last 11 seasons (they have also placed all 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 11 years). He has won eight 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. He repeated that feat from 2011-2014. He has had seven teams finish with 30+ wins in his 11 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 169-11 (.939) home record during his eleven seasons at South Suburban College Five 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, and by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association eight times (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, all of the sophomores Pigatti recruited have signed 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 eight MVP’s of the Regional IV Tournament: 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.
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.
Gary Hayes — Assistant Coach
Gary Hayes, the former Head Basketball Coach at Griffith High School has been named Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at South Suburban College. Hayes enters his 49th year of coaching, thirty-two of those years were spent as head coach on the collegiate and high school levels. Coach Hayes has 490 career victories.
Gary just finished 5 years at Griffith (IN) High School where his record of 95-30, included three sectional and two regional titles. He had two teams finished as the semi state and state runner-ups in the state of Indiana. Hayes was named the Post Tribune and NWI Times Coach of the Year for his efforts.
Coach Hayes was also the Head Basketball Coach for 12 years at Purdue Calumet University and Calumet College of St. Joseph. He was a four-time Chicagoland Conference Coach of the Year.
South Suburban College Head Basketball Coach John Pigatti states, “I am excited about having Coach Hayes join our staff. He is a prominent basketball coach, and understands the extreme differences between collegiate and high school basketball. He has been a very successful Head Coach on the collegiate level. Myself, and our players are very lucky to have this legendary coach part of the South Suburban Basketball program.”
Kevin Phillips — Assistant Coach
Profile to come.