By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD – A few years ago, Wildwood High School named its gymnasium floor in honor of Dave Troiano and Bernie McCracken, two of the most iconic names in the school’s long athletic history.
On Tuesday, the school honored Troiano yet again, this time recognizing him for his successful 39-year coaching run that officially ended when he stepped down as the girls basketball coach at the school in the fall.
As part of the ceremony, the names of Troiano and McCracken, the late former successful boys basketball coach at the school, were displayed on the court for the first time, with decals in two of the court’s corners. School officials said plans are to eventually script the names of the two coaches into the court. That will replace the banner that has hung on a wall in the southwest corner of the gym.
This night wasn’t about decals and scripts on courts, however. It was chance for the school community to say thanks to the retired coach and history teacher who brought so much recognition to the school through his work as a girls basketball coach.
Four state championships, nine South Jersey titles, quite a few division and/or conference championships highlight Troiano’s resume. He coached in more than 1,000 games, only the fourth girls basketball coach in state history to do so, winning 682 of them, a South Jersey record.
Troiano’s wife, Carol, and their children and grandchildren were on hand for the event. So were nearly four dozen former players, a number of parents of former players and countless friends of Troiano, the school and the basketball program.
All were there to honor the most accomplished coach in school history.
BASKETBALL SHORTS: The ceremony to honor Troiano was held in between a girl-boy doubleheader against Pennsville. Maddie McCracken (no relation to the former boys coach) netted 21 points and Jenna Hans added 13 to lead the Wildwood girls to a 52-26 win, while Tyler Tomlin posted 20 points and Kyion Flanders scored 18 points in the boys team’s 79-56 win. … Flanders, for scoring his 2,000th career point, and McCracken, for recording her 1,000th career point, were also honored as part of the festivities.