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Legendary Local Youth Basketball Coach Wins 600th Game

On Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Island Garden in West Hempstead, Jericho youth basketball coach, Warren Wagner, won his 600th game, as his fifth-grade travel team defeated Syosset 37-16, to gain a share of first place in the ultra-competitive Super League.

Wagner started his youth coaching career 20 years ago when he started coaching his son Scott’s team. “At that time, Jericho did not have a youth program. We actually played in Syosset for a year, before they ran out of gym space for all of the kids.” Wagner also started bringing his teams to other towns for games. “We never lost a game in the five years I coached my son’s teams against other towns.” It was at that time that Wagner, along with several others, started the highly successful Jericho youth basketball program that has served as a feeder system to Jericho’s highly successful high school program. During that time, Wagner coached both intramural and travel boys teams as well as coaching his daughter Jill’s team.

Wagner began coaching Jericho teams in the Island Garden Super League from the League’s inception. In that time, Wagner has led three teams to Super League titles, including an undefeated season in 2003, and a remarkable 45-5 record over a two-year span with his current eighth-grade team.

Based on his incredible success in Super League play, Wagner was tabbed by the highly successful Long Island Lightning AAU program to coach several AAU teams in recent years. Once again, success followed, and Wagner’s teams have won several championships including a NY Metro title.

Wagner currently coaches a 14U AAU team, and the Jericho eighth- and fifth-grade entries in Super League play. When reached for a comment Wagner stated, “I do this because I have a passion for it. I have received tremendous support from my wife, Carol, my kids, Scott and Jill, and from the community.” One of Wagner’s biggest thrills came shortly after one of his teams finished a game at St. John’s Lou Carnesecca Court, when coach Carnesecca came out of the stands to tell Wagner that it was a pleasure watching such a well-coached team. Wagner chuckled and added, “He thanked me for helping to keep New York basketball alive and well.” In conclusion Wagner said he has been blessed with a great group of kids over the years and he finished by noting, “my teams may not win every game, but I promise you, my kids will always play hard.”