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WCHS to honor Hall of Fame basketball coach

Frank McAlarnen won 285 games and led Wildwood Catholic’s boys basketball team to 10 South Jersey titles and two state championships during his coaching career.

Frank McAlarnen is regarded as one of the greatest basketball coaches in Cape May County high school history.

Wildwood Catholic is set to honor the late coach and educator and his family later this month.

The school announced this week that it will hold a ceremony for McAlarnen ahead of its home game against Cape May on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Many former players and members of McAlarnen’s family are expected to be in attendance.

McAlarnen was the first boys basketball coach in the history of the school, which opened in 1948. He coached into the mid 1960s and amassed a career record of 285-117, a win total that still ranks among the top 10 all-time among Cape-Atlantic League boys basketball coaches.

He guided Wildwood Catholic to state Parochial C championships in 1958 and 1960. His teams also won 10 South Jersey titles, winning six straight from 1955 through 1960 and four straight from 1963 through 1966.

McAlarnen, also a teacher and athletic director at Wildwood Catholic, was posthumously inducted into the Al Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey Hall of Fame in in February 2016.

As part of the ceremony on Dec. 21, Wildwood Catholic is expected to unveil a portrait of McAlarnen that will hang in the foyer near the main entrance into the school’s Sister Mary Ellen Ford Gymnasium.

Any friends, family members and former players of McAlarnen are invited to attend the ceremony.

— Brian Cunniff