The ninth annual CGHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction will be held Saturday, January 21st, 2012 in the Gymnasium.
Hall of Fame, by Year
Father Thomas Dennehy
Co-Founder, Principal, Teacher
Passed away in 1999.
Sister Marie Schramko, O.S.F.
Co-Founder, Administrator, Teacher
Louise A. Crocco '65
Athletic Director, 1980-2009
Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
Inducted in 2004
In 1985 when Don Marino walked onto the campus of Gibbons to interview for the head football coaching position, Louise Crocco knew, without a doubt, she had the right man for the job. In 1999 when Coach Marino retired with a record of 100 wins and just 49 losses, he became the most successful football coach in Cardinal Gibbons High School history. It did not take long for this powerhouse of a man to impact the Redskin football program with his coaching philosophies.
Coach Marino came to Gibbons from Southbridge, Massachusetts. He played football at Southbridge High School from 1948-51 and was named All-American in 1951. He attended college at Southeastern Louisiana State University where he led the nation, averaging 9.6 yards a carry and was named to the All-American squad in 1954.
He returned to Southbridge to begin his coaching career at his high school alma mater. As head football coach there he achieved all kinds of records: 22 district championships, three undefeated seasons, two appearances in the Massachusetts Super Bowl for high schools, and an overall record of 156 wins and 63 losses.
At Gibbons, Coach Marino continued his tradition of success. He amassed two nine win seasons in 1989 and 1993, two seasons with 11 wins in 1990 and 1994. Coach Marino's teams captured four district titles, and in 1994 the Redskins traveled to the state football tournament in Daytona for the first time in Gibbons football history, finishing second.
Coach Marino has been a positive influence in hundreds of young men's lives throughout his years of coaching. He has sent many to colleges and universities all over the country, and three went on to play professional football: Donnell Bennett (CGHS Class of 1990), Jason Bostic (CGHS, Class of 1995), and John Fitzgerald (Southbridge, Class of 1966).
Coach had been selected Coach of the Year by The Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel, and has been inducted into the Halls of Fame of Louisiana and Massachusetts.
When Walt and Judy Green came to Cardinal Gibbons in 1968, little did they realize all the “hats” he would be wearing.
Father Dennehy hired him as the head football coach and that job grew into head baseball and freshman basketball coach. In his 5 years of coaching football, Walt never had a losing season and each year won the league championship. In 1973 Father Dennehy bestowed the job of Dean of Students on Walt, and from that time he was given the title of “Dean Green” (sometimes with the word mean added to the beginning). For 27 years Dean Green held the responsibility of disciplining students, as well as conducting our annual school raffle and raising money for “Kids in Distress.” All three of Dean and Judy Green’s children (twins Carrie and Gail, and son Chris), are Gibbons graduates and their grandchild is now a freshman here as well.
The Greens are now enjoying retirement in Sapphire, North Carolina, where he was elected to the local area council and serves in a position comparable to municipal mayor. They love traveling and most of all spending time with their children and grandchildren.
A coach once stated, “Joe LaRocca is the most complete and competitive ballplayer I have ever seen.” Joe certainly lived up to that statement throughout his athletic career. At Gibbons Joe was a three sport athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball. In all three sports, he received seven varsity letters, All County, All Diocese, and All State recognition. He was the South Atlantic Conference baseball Player of the Year and led Broward county in batting average his senior year. Joe was a top student here at Gibbons and he was the recipient of the Bank Atlantic Broward County Student/Athlete Award.
Joe received numerous offers from various colleges, but followed his dream and attended the University of Notre Dame, where he was a “walk-on” for the Fighting Irish baseball team, playing all four years. He was selected “captain” his senior year. He led the team in batting average that year. Joe’s name appears on Notre Dame’s “Wall of Fame” for his accomplishments, and he is still recognized each year in their media guide.
After graduation, Joe was drafted and played for the Texas Rangers. Joe was moving up in the organization when he was drafted again, but this time by the United State Army, where he served our country in the war in Vietnam. Joe resides in Ft. Lauderdale with his wife, Lydia, and their two sons, Joe (’98) and Nick (’01), also Gibbons alumni and athletes.
When Jude Abrams graduated from Gibbons in 1973 and went on to Florida Atlantic University, there was no doubt in her mind as to where she wanted to teach and coach when she graduated college. Jude did not wait to graduate. She immediately came back to Gibbons to start her coaching career, beside her mentor, Coach Louise Crocco. Jude began the junior varsity sports program for girls in volleyball, basketball and softball and was the first head JV coach of those three sports. During this time, Jude also was the assistant varsity coach of those three varsity sports. Judge coached JV volleyball for 20 years while attending college, becoming a teacher and coaching for her first two years after college at St. Coleman’s. Her goal was to introduce the players to the fundamentals and instill the Lady Redskin pride and tradition. Because of Jude’s unselfishness about her teams’ win-loss record, the varsity team had many state champion players come through her programs. Jude never sacrificed her principles and philosophies to win. JV was to her a building to make the varsity teams as successful as possible. Even with this in mind, her JV volleyball team still amassed an incredible 88 match winning streak at one point in her career. At that time it was a state record. In 1995 she was awarded Outstanding Assistant Coach of the Year by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association at a reception in Jacksonville. This is the highest award given to a coach in the state of Florida. Jude is the unsung hero of the girls’ sports program at Cardinal Gibbons H.S.
Except for “two years off for good behavior,” Glenn Lee has been teaching English and coaching cross country and track at Gibbons for twenty-nine years. He is married to Joann Philbrick Lee (’71) and has three daughters: Amy (’04), Jessica (’06), and Allison (’08)
Coach Lee’s teams have been very successful with 351 wins and 22 losses, including 15 district championships, 11 regionals, and 6 state runner-ups. Glenn has been inducted into the Florida Coaches Hall of Fame and has won the Coach of the Year award several times in both cross country and track. Coach Lee is especially proud to have worked with many of the finest young men and women at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
Coach Don Marino felt that Donnell was “the perfect athlete to have for a one-back offense, and defensively the inside linebacker to cover from tackle to tackle.” Obviously, Donnell didn’t sit much during any football game. Donnell was one of Gibbons’ premier athletes, and a standout in football, wrestling, basketball, and track for his years here. He was a state champion runner-up wrestler. Donnell was a First Team All County selection in both The Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel in football and wrestling. He was selected to the All-American team in football and led Gibbons to a 9-1 record. Courted by 75 colleges, Donnell went on to play his college career for the Hurricanes at the University of Miami, where he started 2 years at fullback. His stats include 258 carries, 1,075 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. His career there is highlighted by a national championship in 1991. In 1994 Donnell was drafted in the 2nd round by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he led the team in rushing in both 1998 and 1999. In 2001 Donnell moved to the NFC and played for the Washington Redskins. As a “Redskin” for the second time in his athletic career, he paved the way for Steven Davis to have a 1,000 yard season, by being a solid run-blocking back.
An asthma sufferer himself, Donnell was active in both the Kansas City and Virginia community through his Clearing the Way Asthma Foundation which he is in the process of bringing here to Florida. Besides working with numerous charities and community service, Donnell is married and has 3 sons, Matthew, Donnell III, and Coleman Taylor.
Tony Licata was Cardinal Gibbons’ “man of all trades” when it first opened its doors in 1961. He taught Algebra I, coached most all of the boys’ sports teams, and became the school’s first athletic director. After only two years he was named the Broward County Coach of the Year for football. Basketball was his main focus and the sport that eventually became his “sport of choice” to coach. In the early years, basketball games were held at the infamous “Barn,” and it was not until 1972 that Coach Licata saw his dream of a gym on campus come to fruition. With his help, the Gibbons Gym became a reality and one of the cornerstones of the great traditions of Cardinal Gibbons Athletics. It provided our school with a sense of pride and the foundation which gave our athletics a place to call home.
Coach Licata’s determination and dedication was evident throughout the athletic department in his years here. Gibbons teams became respected and traditionally started to build into the strong athletic power it has become. His efforts became fact when in 1975-76 Cardinal Gibbons won its first All County Sports Trophy given by the Ft. Lauderdale/Sun-Sentinel.
After resigning in 1979 Coach Licata moved to Ft. Pierce with his wife Barbara and 5 children, fulfilling another dream he had of opening a family restaurant. Coach Licata’s perseverance in life provided an example to all with whom he came into contact. He worked hard all his life for his family and in his work as a coach and a teacher. In 1990 he began his battle with cancer, with the same determination as he had exhibited with all the other challenges he faced, with courage and faith. His final days were spent doing the things that meant the most to him. He returned to teaching and coaching, and spent time with his loved ones. He will always be remembered for his contributions to Cardinal Gibbons.
Gibbons baseball coach Bob Saxon described Dennis Romanelli by saying, “Denny loves competition. He never gives up, never lets up. He was the same way in football.” Anyone who knew Dennis in high school or plays a round of golf him today is familiar with that fierce competitiveness he possesses.
Dennis lettered in baseball and football all four years at Gibbons, and his coaches always praised his leadership and spirit, both on and off the fields. In his senior year Dennis caught the winning touchdown with a minute remaining on the clock, to seal a 27-26 victory against St. Thomas.
Dennis went on to graduate from Florida State University and then returned to South Florida. He continued playing semi-pro baseball for the next ten years, until business and family became his priorities. He married his high school sweetheart, Charn Noonan (1973) and they have three beautiful daughters, all Gibbons graduates, Dana (’01), Nina (’03), and Jenna (’07)
Dennis has spent the last ten years displaying his pride and spirit in the gym at Gibbons supporting the Lady Redskins volleyball program. He is very proud of all three daughters who played volleyball. This year (’06), Jenna and the team brought home the state championship trophy for the 18th time.
Dennis has been a friend and supporter of the entire Gibbons family throughout the years. He is a constant source of inspiration. Dennis is the president of Allied Doors Foundation and through his organization he continues to support athletics in the community including the Horses for the Handicapped program and the Challenger Baseball League.
When Denise walked into the Gibbons gym in 1973 as a freshman, all she knew was that she loved to play sports. What she could not have imagined was how far the love of sports would take her in life. Her athletic ability was apparent in all the sports she chose to play. Denise played volleyball, basketball, and softball all four years at Gibbons. She excelled in all three sports.
Denise was a player on the first two volleyball state championships her junior and senior year. She was selected to the All Diocesan team and All County team in both her junior and senior years. In her senior year she was All Diocesan Player of the Year, All County First Team, Lady Redskin MVP, voted Most Athletic by her class, and Cardinal Gibbons Athlete of the Year. Her volleyball team also went undefeated. Florida Southern College offered her a scholarship to play both volleyball and basketball and she still holds numerous records there. Her volleyball team qualified for the Southeast Championship (first time in school history), and went on to the National Championships. She was selected MVP, All Regional, and All State in both volleyball and basketball. She also received All American honors.
After graduating from Florida Southern, Denise returned to Ft. Lauderdale and began coaching volleyball and basketball. She has been involved with volleyball at Gibbons ever since then, and she also has coached Broward Community College women’s volleyball and club volleyball. Her commitment and hard work have been a tremendous factor in the successes our volleyball program has attained.
Denis teaches and coaches at St. Elizabeth School, and is married to Todd Faber. They have two beautiful daughters, Shay and Caitlyn who seem to be following in their mom’s footsteps with their love of sports. They are just two of the young ladies that Denise has, and will continue to have an important impact on their lives.
Jo Cabana’s 8 years at Gibbons was definitely record-breaking. She coached both the girls and boys teams setting a record of 331 wins and only ten losses. With an amazing record of 167 wins and 7 losses the girls teams achieved 7 state championships. The boys amassed an impressive 167 wins with a mere 3 losses and won the state championship 8 out of the 8 years Jo Cabana coached.
Her lifetime record in coaching tennis to date is 469 match wins and 24 losses and 19 state championships. Jo Cabana has certainly proven she is more than worthy of achieving Hall of Fame status. A mother of three, Jo began coaching tennis because of her children’s love for the sport. Michael started at age 14, Katie at 13, and Matt at age 10. Jo followed them to the court as coach with an inherent love for the game as well. She played college tennis at Trinity College in Burlington Vermont, learning to hone her skills by watching and emulating the best, such as Evert, King, Navratilova, Connors and McEnroe. Her love for tennis certainly passed down to her children who all are ranked USTA players, state champions, have received college scholarships to play tennis, and are now making careers for themselves as coaches.
Add the 2 state championships at St. Thomas and the 2 which she currently has at Charlotte Catholic where she is currently teaching English and coaching, it is not hard to see why Jo Cabana is a record breaking coach, receiving an unprecedented Florida Tennis Coach of the Year 5 times. Jo has also been named the Coach of the Year numerous times in both the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald.
Determination, leadership, and teamwork led this talented team to their goal of winning a state championship. The dedicated seniors reminded everyone from the first day of practice in December that their goal could be achieved if hard work and 100% was given by each person on the team, everyday no matter what their position was. It resulted in the first state championship for baseball in Gibbons history. This truly was a “team of destiny.”
Mike Allegri Mike Foley David Montiel
Mike Arciola Charlie Ingrasci George Ochoa
Marc Claus Brad Jones Beau Pecaro
Todd Claus Pierce Keefe Scott Saxon
Brett Detweller Greg Knowles Rich Tunison
Happy Durkin Mike Laraway Pat Wilder
Manager Rich Deleva
Head Coach George Petik
Assistant Coach Detweller
Coach Fran Giblin was one of the two original male coaches that began the athletic programs at Cardinal Gibbons. In 1961 Father Dennehy challenged Coach Giblin to lay the foundation for athletics in this new Catholic high school in Ft. Lauderdale. It turned out to be a challenge indeed, but one he eagerly undertook. In his 20 year tenure, Coach started the track program, was head coach of both boys and girls swimming and diving teams, and assistant coach in both football and basketball. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Coach Giblin wore many other “hats” including transportation facilitator (driving athletes from Boca to Ft. Lauderdale), and (with the help of his wife Grace) launderer, washing uniforms at home. Since Gibbons had no athletic facilities in the early years, the swimming team did a great deal of traveling to games and even to practice, going from Boca, to Coral Ridge CC, to the YMCA, and to the Hall of Fame.
For the 18 years he was the head coach of the boys and girls swimming teams, Gibbons was represented at the state tournament. The team was in the top ten 5 of those years. In 1968 the girls were state runners-up, and he coached three individual state champions.
Coach Giblin proudly served in the Air Force during WWII as a military policeman and sharpshooter. He married his beautiful wife Grace in 1948 and had 5 children: twins Chip and Fran ’69, Pam ’75 (CGH Athletic Hall of Fame 2004), Doreen ’81, and John.
In 2007 he was inducted into the track “Circle of Honor” at CGH.
In April of 2008 Coach and Mrs. Giblin will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary together with their children, ten grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
At the young age of 12, while running track at his middle school in West Covina, California, Micah Gardner began his record setting career in running by posting a 5:11 mile, a record that still stands today. His passion for running only grew as he entered Gibbons as a sophomore and honed his skills under the tutelage of Coach Glenn Lee (CGH Athletic Hall of Fame Coach 2005). The cross country and track teams immediately began to feel the impact of his talents. As a senior Micah set the cross country school record at 14:52.7 and became the cross country state champion. Those achievements earned him a 4 year scholarship to the University of Miami (FL). While there Micah earned the distinguished honor of “Most Valuable Runner of the Year” all four years. Additionally, he set the 10,000 meter and the indoor 5,000 meter records.
Off the track, Micah was the academic captain for the track team his junior and senior years, tutoring scholar-athletes attending UM from the Caribbean. He graduated in 1992 with a degree in history and secondary education.
Micah returned to Gibbons in 1995 through 2000, where he taught history and coached the men’s cross country and track teams.
Recently Micah has been pursuing a career as a musician, has written well over 100 songs, and has released 6 albums as a lead singer and solo musician.
Now living in Islamorada in the Florida Keys, Micah plays with his band, Karma Truck, as a solo musician. Known for his original songs, Micah generously gives back to the community, playing at benefits and free events.
Jill entered Gibbons in 1987, and significantly began to make an impact on two major girls sports, volleyball and basketball. Basketball was her first love, and when volleyball season began in 1987 she didn’t even try out for the team, because she felt she “didn’t know enough about it.” With some encouragement from the coaches, she decided to give it a try. She also played softball for one season. Little did Jill know that 20 years later she would be inducted into the Gibbons Athletic Hall of Fame as a premier athlete.
Jill went on to break records and win championships. Her volleyball career was highlighted by two state championships in 1988 and 1989. She was named to the 1st Team All County volleyball teams by The Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel, Most Valuable Player, and captain in both her junior and senior years. She was also awarded the highly esteemed Lady Redskin Award as a senior.
Her basketball career at Gibbons started with a freshman season that achieved just one win, to a senior season where her team competed at a high level with all of the top schools. Jill scored 1,376 in her 4 years at Gibbons. In a game against Northeast Jill scored 52 points, breaking a Gibbons girls’ basketball record.
Jill received a scholarship to Florida Southeastern College, where she continued accruing honors in volleyball. In her 4 years there, she earned AVCA All-American recognition twice. Her freshman year she helped guide her team to a fourth place finish at the NCAA Division II Championship. As a sophomore Jill was named Most Valuable Player, and as a senior, Jill earned the Florida Southern Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. She still ranks in the top three in the FSC record book in four career categories. In 1995 Jill earned a bachelors degree in sports management and in 2001 a master’s degree.
In 2001 Jill was named Florida Southern’s head volleyball coach. She is considered one of the top young volleyball coaches in the country. Her teams have received bids to the NCAA tournament for 6 straight seasons. With a winning percentage of .688, Jill ranks 28th among active NCAA Division II coaches. In 2005 she earned SSC Coach of the Year honors, and recorded her 100th career victory. This past summer, Jill was the head coach of Team Florida’s Red Youth Team which competed in the USAV High Performance Championships. She also is part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’chapter of Florida Southern. Although she lives in Lakeland, Jill loves spending time with her family here in South Florida.
In 1991 Josh followed his two older siblings, Adam and Sharyn to Cardinal Gibbons. He was a member of the band and the JV baseball team. In his junior year Josh became a pitcher for the varsity teams coached by George Petik and pitching coach Mark Kline. In the next two seasons Josh compiled an impressive record of 15 wins and 2 losses, earning him All Broward and All Star team honors.
In 1995 Josh was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Florida. He joined the SEC powerhouse in their 1996 appearance at the College World Series. Josh was selected First Team All American in his junior year, and led the nation in earned run average for the regular season. He made a second appearance at the College World Series in 1998, posting an ERA of 1.86 with 9 strikeouts. He was also selected to the All SEC First Team.
After college, Josh continued his successful baseball career, being selected by the Chicago White Sox in the third round of the MLB draft. He made his MLB debut on September 2, 2001 against the Cleveland Indians, striking out 4 batters in 1.1 innings. On his 25th birthday, December 13, 2001, Josh was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates and played with them for 4 seasons. In 2006 he became a free agent and signed with the Colorado Rockies. In 2007 Josh was a vital part of the Rockies run to the postseason where they won 14 of 15 games. He was starting pitcher of the tiebreaker game against the San Diego Padres, and won a game against the Phillies and the Diamondbacks, landing them in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Josh earned the honor of pitching in the 1st World Series game in Denver, Colorado.
Presently Josh lives in Tampa, Florida with his beautiful wife Jessica and their adorable one year old son Koy. He spends his offseason enjoying special time with family and friends and keeping active on the golf course.
Class of 1969
Athlete Class of 1978
Director of Institutional Advancement, 1988-2010
Pauline Milano's role at Cardinal Gibbons High School over the past 22 years defies description. No title or job description could accurately convey the contributions she made to her Cardinal Gibbons family. On a personal level, she was always available with an open heart and an open mind for anyone seeking support, advice, or just a sympathetic ear. Her office was a refuge for hurting students, concerned parents, anxious teachers and good friends. She built a network of important relationships within the school and in the community that was based on trust and mutual respect. She brought a touch of class to everything we did here at Cardinal Gibbons.
Pauline's first real association with Cardinal Gibbons began when her own two children, JoJo, Class of 1983, and Tony, Class of 1985, joined the Cardinal Gibbons family. At that time Mrs. Milano began as a parent volunteer with the girls' sports program and then took a leadership role in the PTF. After Jo Jo and Tony graduated, they would have to learn to share their mom with hundreds of other students who became like sons and daughters to her.
Pauline Milano wore many hats at Cardinal Gibbons. From the hardhat of the construction manager to the soft hat of Santa's Helper, her range of expertise, creative energy, and enthusiasm for everything "Gibbons" is unparalleled. She left no stone unturned in her efforts to make Cardinal Gibbons a great place to grow and learn. When it came time for capital improvements, she led the fund-raising efforts, worked with the architechts on design, supervised the construction foreman, and picked out the carpet! She did it all, and she did it all with a smile. Gibbons Hall, an air-conditioned Gym, the second story of C Wing, the Gym Lobby, teachers' lounge, an expanded cafeteria, remodeled science classrooms and media center, all exist because Pauline had a vision and was willing to invest the time and energy and love necessary to make that vision a reality.
The time, energy and enthusiasm that Mrs. Milano brought to her job were never about fundraisers, buildings, or events, but always about the relationships she established with other people, and particularly with the students. Who else but Pauline Milano could get senior boys to dress in tights and green felt outfits to play the role of Santa's elves for the kids from the Children's Home Society? Grandparents Day at Gibbons was a sellout each year and Mrs. Milano smiled and wiped a tear away as our students escorted their grandparents to the gym floor for a dance. The Dinner Auction raised needed funds for capital improvements at Cardinal Gibbons while at the same time creating a lifetime bond among a group of moms who worked tirelessly alongside their leader and friend, Pauline Milano.
The administration, faculty, coaches, students, parents, and alumni are all better people because of their association with Mrs. Pauline Milano. Our lives have been enriched and forever changed because of the love of a woman who understood that at a great school it is "all about the kids."
Athlete Class of 1989
Athlete Class of 1992
The Cardinal Gibbons Athletic Hall of Fame was formed for the purpose of recognizing and honoring those student-athletes, coaches, teams, administrators, and special individuals who have made an outstanding contribution and/or offered extraordinary service to Cardinal Gibbons Athletics. The following criteria are considered when making inductee selections.
Anyone may nominate a person whom you feel is worthy and meets the above criteria. All nominations must be presented to the Board with facts to back up the reasons why this person should in fact be a member of the Hall of Fame. All eligible candidates' information will be brought before the board and the top candidates that year will be voted on by the Hall of Fame Committee. The Hall of Fame Committee consists of the original board members and all inducted members. To nominate somone, contact Hall of Fame coordinator Ms. Louise Crocco.