I played for coach Amatucci when I was a senior, during the 1993-94 season. It was his first season back as head basketball coach at Calvert Hall and he was rabid. He was eager and determined to build the program back to where it was a decade before.
I was a fan of Joe Baker's teams at Calvert Hall and I attended several of Tooch's summer camps at Loyola College when I was in middle school, so I knew the program. Many Friday nights and Sunday afternoons were spent in the alumni gymnasium, watching the 1988-1990 teams. I had seen dozens of games over several seasons. The Championship banners were visible, the trophies were in a glass case in lobby, the plaques were in the hall and still as a 17 year old senior in 1993, I didn’t understand the gravity of a team being unbeaten. Even beyond that season, the overall success of the program in the early 80’s is overwhelming and intangible. Unless you were on the team or you were a student during those years, you could not “feel” it.
During one of our first practices, an angry coach Tooch said or yelled or barked (coach tends to bark his words at practice), something about “winning them all”. Now as a side note, Tooch (at practice) does not really look at you when he is trying to make a point. Coach looks down in disgust. He snarls and grits his teeth and barks his words. On this occasion, early in the pre-season, coach yells, “They say you can’t win them all! That’s b.s. (paraphrased), I did, I won them all!”
He did. They did. They were a team. They won as a team. They won them all...every damn game.
I was 6 in 1982, so I did not get to see the team play. I am appreciative that Coach Amatucci and Coach Baker decided to write this book, making those seasons tangible to us all, offering us a history of this transendent program.
There is no finer school in the world than Calvert Hall College and I am proud to be a part of it as an alumni and thrilled to be forever associated with these coaches and the basketball program they built.
Thank you gentlemen.