2023 New York State Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees
Chris Agostino – Oyster Bay, Harborfields, Elmont HS, Section 11
Coach Chris Agostino has led his teams to an average of 14 wins each season resulting in a 67% winning percentage. His teams have earned County and Long Island titles. They also reached the very top, winning a NYSPHSAA and NYS Federation state crowns. Coach Agostino was honored with Coach of the Year at league, county and state levels. He was also recognized by the media for his successful work.
Larry Behm - Onondaga HS, Section 3
Coach Larry Behm’s teams won 65% of their games with 335 victories over his 24 years as a varsity coach. He led his teams to multiple league titles and 5 sectional championships. Coach Behm served on the Section 3 Basketball Committee for 10 years. He founded the Onondaga Summer League and has
been a guest speaker at numerous basketball camps. He has also been honored by the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.
Starling Bryant, - Traditional, East HS, Section 6
Coach Starling Bryant led his teams to 353 wins over a 23-year span. His teams have won 14 Section 6 titles and 6 Far West Regionals. Coach Bryant directed his squads to 4 NYSPHSAA State Crowns and 1 NYS Federation Championship. He speaks regularly at camps and clinics. Coach Bryant was named a Coach of the Year by the league, section and BCANY.
Chris Cardon, Irondequoit HS, Section 5
Coach Chris Cardon coached his teams to over 400 wins in his 30+ seasons as a head coach. His teams have won three Section 5 titles and multiple Division crowns. Coach Cardon has been named Coach of the Year 7 times by Section 5, in addition to being honored by the media and BCANY. He received the All Greater Rochester Sports Award and is a Frontier Walk of Fame inductee. He has served on the BCANY Board of Directors for a number of years.
Lou DeMello, Coach and Contributor
Lou DeMello was a nationally known high school coach. He led Rice HS on a dramatic run in New York City when his team was nationally ranked 4 years in a row. Additionally, he was a successful coach at Concordia College. Lou was also a significant contributor to the game as the director of the famed Slam Dunk Tournament. He operated scores of clinics and showcase events. If there is a basketball bouncing in the Westchester and NYC areas – chances are that Lou DeMello had an assist there.
Jeff Fitch—Fairport HS—Section 5
Coach Jeff Fitch achieved 459 victories in his 33 years as the Fairport High School varsity basketball coach. His basketball background began at Middlesex Valley Central School where he was later inducted in the Marcus Whitman High School Hall of Fame. He then went to East Texas State University where he led the nation in free throw percentage as a freshman hitting 108-113 at 95.6%. As a junior at ETSU he made 186 free throws and that record still ranks second as most made in a single season at ETSU. He was named All-Lone Star Conference 3 times and was named Lone Star Most Valuable Player and NAIA All-American his senior year. He was also selected to play in the Pan American Trials. Then he was drafted by the Dallas Chaparrals in the ABA. He was also selected for the ETSU Hall of Fame. In 1971 Jeff played on an AAU team called the Roseland Riders in Canandaigua, NY and he scored nineteen points in a game they lost by one point to the Soviet Union National team that ended up winning the 1972 Gold Medal Game in the Munich Olympics. Jeff also coached the Section V All-Star Team vs. the Russian Jr. National Team. During his coaching career at Fairport HS, his teams won 12 Monroe County League titles and a Section V Championship in 1975. Jeff was named Section V Coach of the Year 9 times and was selected for the Section V Hall of Fame and the Frontier Walk of Fame. The Fairport High School gym is now named Jeff Fitch Court.
Todd Jamison, Nazareth Regional HS, Catholic High School Athletic Association.
Coach Todd Jamison led his basketball squad to over 300 wins in over a 20-year career. He directed his teams to a CHSAA City Championship and 2 State crowns. He served on the CHSAA Advisory Committee for years. Coach Jamison formed a program in New York City for economically challenged youth. He regularly spoke at basketball camps, including the famous Five-Start Camp. He is a member of the Nazareth Regional HS Hall of Fame.
Carl Johnson, Bridgehampton HS, Section 11
Coach Carl Johnson led Bridgehampton HS to over 300 wins in 27 years, winning 60% of their games. He steered his teams to 13 league titles and 11 Section 11 championships. His teams captured 4 NYSPHSAA state titles. He was named Coach of the Year numerous times at the league and sectional levels.
David Lieber, Friends Seminary, NYS Association Independent Schools
Coach David Lieber guided his teams to over 425 wins over 29 years at the helm. His teams won 8 league championships and 1 New York State Association of Interscholastic Schools state championship. Coach Lieber has served on the NYSAIS Tournament Committee. He was also a longtime volunteer clinician for 78th Precinct Youth Sports. He was named Coach of the Year several times along with BCANY Coach of the Year.
Bob Piano, St. Raymond’s, Queensborough CC, Lehman College, CairoDurham HS, Columbia-Greene CC
Coach Bob Piano enjoyed an interesting coaching career, covering 6 decades. In 35 years as a head coach at the high school, 2-year college and 4-year college levels, his teams won 468 games. They won numerous Division, League and Conference titles. Coach Piano established basketball camps, youth programs, as well as speaking at camps. He has been honored by many organizations as a Coach of the Year.
Jack Purificato, - Contributor
Jack Purificato was the Section V Boys’ Basketball Chairman for 19 years. He was a member of the Section V Boys’ Basketball Committee for 33 years. He worked tirelessly to promote Section V basketball for all of the 120 high school basketball programs. He was instrumental in developing community sponsorship, banquets, a website, and a Hall of Fame. He was honored by the Rochester Press Radio Club with a Silver Award for special contributions in promoting sports in the Rochester area.
Frank Satalin, - St. Patrick’s, St. Lucy’s, St. John the Baptist Syracuse Catholic League
In a coaching career that spanned from 1937 to 1969, Coach Satalin won over 200 games. His coaching career was interrupted by volunteering for active duty in the Army, serving the United States in Europe during WWII. He led his teams to League, Playoff, City and Diocesan Championships. He started a “Basketball School for Boys,” the first basketball camp of its kind in Syracuse. He was honored by the Syracuse Northside Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame. He was also named the “Man of the Year” by the Central NY Referees Association. The "Dean" of the Parochial League Coaches was an outstanding gentleman, teacher and ambassador for the game of basketball.
Bill Varno, - Referee
Bill Varno is a life member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Inc. He is a past president of the New York State Basketball Officials Association. He is listed as one of seven men to be President of IAABO and College Basketball Officials Association. He has received the NYSBOA Jack Cahill Award and the Section 2 Jack and Ellen Cahill Award. Bill worked tirelessly for the NY State Basketball Tournament Committee over the years.