Jeff Angeletti, who enjoyed huge success at Panama Central School, has stepped down as head coach of girls varsity basketball. In his six seasons as head coach, Angeletti's teams reached the New York State Public Schools Class D Final Four three times as Section VI champion, lost twice in the sectional title game and won another sectional crown this past season.
"The way the season ended on a positive note, the group we had and with my daughter moving on (to college), after talking it over with my wife and family, it just kind of felt it was the right decision at the right time," Angeletti said. "I've been very blessed. We had girls that worked really hard and a community that supported us."
Born and raised in Panama, Angeletti teaches conservation and natural resources at a BOCES school nearby. He is a Penn State graduate.
Angeletti's Panthers won 20 or more games in five of the six seasons he led the team. His teams went undefeated the last three seasons in CCAA West 2 division play. His overall record was 119-22.
Panama lost to North Country power Heuvelton of Section X twice in the state Class D final and once in the semifinals after taking the sectional and regional crowns. Twice the Panthers lost to Franklinville in the sectional Class D final, once by a single point. Last season's Panama team lost only to Franklinville, which had moved up to Class C, and Williamsville North, a Class A power, in posting a 20-2 record.
Angeletti's last team was led by the youngest of his two daughters, Natalie, and another senior Kylie Schnars. Natalie Angeletti has signed to play at Daemen College on the NCAA Division II level.
Schnars will move on to Mercyhurst University to play volleyball.By stepping away now, Angeletti is more free to follow his daughter's college career more closely and he looks forward to following other school teams in the area.
Natalie Angeletti was named state Class D Player of the Year last week by the New York State Sports Writers Association.
Before Angeletti succeeded Rob Collver as head coach in 2015, he was Panama's junior varsity coach for six seasons. Collver is now the boys basketball head coach at Maple Grove.