By BRIAN CUNNIFF
For the second straight year, Wildwood Catholic Academy faces the task of replacing its head boys basketball coach.
According to multiple sources, Anthony Raffa will not return as the Crusaders’ head coach next season.
The school’s athletic department declined immediate comment via email, saying only that a statement or an announcement of some kind would be released in the coming days. Raffa did not return a text message about the matter.
Raffa, one of the school’s all-time greats as a player, returned to his alma mater as head coach after the resignation of longtime successful head coach Dave DeWeese at the end of last summer. Raffa had been an assistant coach under DeWeese during the previous pandemic-shortened season.
With a young roster that featured no seniors, Wildwood Catholic went 10-13 last winter.
Wildwood Catholic played just five games due to the pandemic during DeWeese’s last season as head coach in 2020-21. That came after the program won the South Jersey Non-Public B title in March 2020. Wildwood Catholic also won three straight Cape-Atlantic League playoff tournament titles from 2018 through 2020.
DeWeese, who went 324-176 over his 18-year career, also led Wildwood Catholic to South Jersey titles in 2006 and 2007, with Raffa leading the way as a junior and senior. Raffa scored just shy of 1,900 career points in high school, averaging more than 30 points per game as a senior.
Raffa went on to play Division I college basketball, first at the University at Albany before finishing at Coastal Carolina. He later played multiple seasons of professional basketball overseas in Europe and Asia.