The facts: His team won the National High School Invitational and finished the season 25-2 and No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25 rankings. Prior to Montverde, he won eight state titles in 23 years at St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.), where he coached future NBA players Kyrie Irving, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Samuel Dalembert and Al Harrington. Was also the USA TODAY Sports Coach of the Year in 2007. Played at Seton Hall and St. Peter’s.
Favorite meal: Spirito’s ravioli in Elizabeth.
Underrated virtue: Resilience. We had to come back to win the NHSI and against Oak Hill (in the NHSI) quarterfinals, I thought we were very resilient.
Overplayed by me: Bruce Springsteen and Journey.
Recent read: I just read Jay Bilas’ book on toughness (Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court). I think Jay is terrific.
Montverde celebrates its NHSI title. / Randy Sager
Coaching strength: I like to give the kids freedom on offense and not overcoach every possession. A lot of times, you’re better off letting the better players play. Just jump in when they’re making bad decisions.
Working on: It’s a work in progress for me to stay relaxed and not get caught up in the emotion of the game. I need to trust the referees more.
Favorite teacher: Jerry Allocco for physical education at A.L. Johnson (Clark, N.J.). He’s the brother of Frank Allocco, who coaches at De La Salle (Concord, Calif.).
People don’t know that I: Walk my small poodle on a leash.
Best move I didn’t make: To, at different times, not try to pursue college opportunities. At this point, staying in high school is the best thing for me and my family. I feel I have the premier high school job in the country.
Coaching my sons: (Both sons, Kevin Jr. and Brendan, have played for him.) When you’re the coach’s sons, you’re under the microscope. It’s harder for them and people expect more from them. At the same point, I’ve enjoyed the experience.