Villanova coach Harry Perretta to retire at end of season
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Villanova women's basketball coach Harry Perretta announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of this season.
Perretta has been the coach of the Wildcats for 42 years, tying him with Yvonne Kaufmann of Elizabethtown College (1971-2012) for the most seasons at one school in any division of NCAA women's basketball. The 64-year-old has dealt with health problems the last few years.
He will stay on at the school for one more year, serving as a special assistant to the athletic director.
Perretta has led the Wildcats to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 WNIT berths and the Big East regular season and tournament titles in 1985-86 and 1986-87. The Wildcats also won the Big East tournament in 2003, including an upset of No. 1 Connecticut in the title game that snapped the Huskies' 70-game winning streak.
He's had 20 seasons with at least 20 wins and led the team to the AIAW Final Four in 1982.
"Villanova has allowed me to be the person I am for the last 42 years and for that I am forever grateful," Perretta said in a statement. "Every president and athletic director that I worked for during my career treated me extremely well and fairly, and I have never had to pretend to be somebody that I wasn't.
"Villanova will always be home to me. My wife graduated from here and both of my sons are currently in school here. I have been truly blessed for the last 42 years."
He is 13th in victories all-time in women's basketball.
"Harry is truly irreplaceable. His ability to build countless relationships with our women's basketball student-athletes and entire community for over 40 years is reflective of how much he cares and how much he loves to lead with his heart," athletic director Mark Jackson said. "His basketball acumen is second to none, but his impact is felt far beyond the court and he has become interwoven into the fabric of Villanova through his loyal service on multiple fronts. I look forward to leaning on Harry and his friendship, not only to help determine our next head coach, but in helping us guide our athletic department into the future."
During Perretta's time at Villanova, 99% of the athletes who stayed four years received their degrees.
"Every college conference should be as fortunate as the Big East has been in having Harry Perretta in our midst," said Big East commissioner Val Ackerman. " The Wildcats have benefited not only from his great proficiency on the sidelines, but from the immeasurable impact he's had on the hundreds of young women he's mentored and the many administrators and coaches who've had the privilege of working beside him to lift women's basketball to the great heights it enjoys today."