On Friday, December 18, in front of a sold out crowd of students, parents, alumni, and supporters, head men's basketball coach Joe Staley '72 was recognized for his 400th win at CJ.
"The team would not be the same without Joe," said assistant varsity coach Charlie Szabo '98. "We have had a good tradition, but this current CJ basketball is all him - he has built this."
Staley came back to CJ to be the head men's basketball coach in 1985. His first game was against Carroll, the same school the Eagles defeated on Friday with a score of 57-50.
Tony Ricciuto '74 coached alongside Staley for several years.
"Joe was teaching at Alter when he came to CJ to be the head coach," Ricciuto recalled. "We played Alter in one of the last games of that year. Alter was ranked number one in the state and we upset them."
Bill Reichert '92 had Staley as a coach and then later had the opportunity to coach alongside him.
"He had high expectations for all of us," Reichert explained. "His expectations in terms of how we conducted ourselves, our timeliness, how we treated others and of course our competitive ferocity were often higher than what we expected out of ourselves. These were great life lessons."
Szabo agreed, "As a player I think what stuck with me was how knowledgeable he was and how driven and committed he was to making us better. On the court, we always played hard because of him. We were never afraid because of him and we were always prepared because of him. He was a lot of fun to play for because of that."
During his time at CJ, Staley has also had the opportunity to coach his two sons, Joe '10 and John '12.
"My favorite part about having Dad be my coach at CJ was my senior year when my brother, John, was a sophomore with me on the team," Staley '10 shared. "I got to do one of the things I loved most, every day, with two of the people I love the most- that's play basketball at Chaminade Julienne.
"CJ basketball has been our entire lives. Since we could walk we were in the CJ gym with Dad. Growing up, my mother, siblings, and I would go to all of the CJ games. So for CJ basketball to be such a huge part of our lives growing up, and then to get to be a part of it alongside Dad and John, was very special."
Ricciuto added, "One of my favorite memories has been watching Joe coach his sons. It's been fun because our families have grown up together. I've enjoyed watching him coach and he has been my mentor. When I got to be a head coach, I employed a lot of things he taught."
Reichert noted, "The part that most people don’t know is that Joe appears to be (and is) gruff and cantankerous towards his players and of course referees during games, but there is another side. To my knowledge there has never been a kid turned down for camp who could not afford it, there has never been a kid who asked to get in the gym for extra time that he did not try to make it happen and finally, being a devoted Catholic with an unbelievable wife, Mick, and family, he has proven that he cares deeply about the CJ community and the broader Dayton community. There will be those who have not liked his coaching style or how many minutes their son played, but if they asked their son now if Joe cared about them on the court and in the classroom, they would have trouble denying it."
"I think he does a tremendous job of not just teaching these high school students the game of basketball, but he also teaches them life lessons every single day," Staley '10 emphasized ." He teaches on things like how to be disciplined, being accountable, putting forth a complete effort, being prepared, and among other things, perhaps a more subtle message, the importance of enjoying what you do in life. I'm not sure he could coach forty plus years if he did not enjoying it."
From the Chaminade Julienne community, congratulations Coach Staley on 400 wins!