Rossato, Maestranzi named coach at Jefferson and Guilford

Sports Connection
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RPS 205 has filled two basketball head coaching openings in Rockford. Jefferson assistant boys basketball coach John Rossato will take on the head coaching job at Jefferson High School for the 2018-19 season. Northern Illinois University alumnus and former professional basketball player Antonio Maestranzi will take over the Guilford High School head coaching job for the 2018-19 season.

Rossato replaces Todd Brannan at Jefferson, and Maestranzi replaces Dean Martinetti at Guilford. Jefferson and Guilford’s interview process included students, teachers and administrators to vet strong applicant pools. The appointments are pending approval from the Rockford School Board.

About Coach Rossato at Jefferson: Rossato was hired as a dean at Jefferson in August 2015 and is now an assistant principal/head of the EMITT Academy (Engineering, Manufacturing, Industrial and Trades Technology). Rossato has also taught at Welsh and Carlson elementary schools in RPS 205. Rossato has been the head sophomore boys basketball coach at Jefferson since 2010; the sophomore team won the conference this year and finished 15-1. Jefferson’s varsity team finished this season 26-7 overall, a record season; 13-3 in the conference.

Rossato has varsity head coaching experience with Jefferson baseball. “Coach Rossato brings a wealth of experience in not only basketball, but from his role as a varsity-level Jefferson coach,” said Jefferson High School Principal Don Rundall. “He has wonderful rapport with players, coaches and parents.”
Rossato looks forward to growing those student connections. “We’ve built the program and the brand, and I’m excited to continue and improve it. More than anything, I’m excited to work with the kids,” he said.

Maestranzi played Division I basketball at Northern Illinois University, then continued his basketball career professionally in the Italian Basketball Federation from 2006 to 2012. He has experience coaching as a varsity assistant at Marmion Academy in Aurora, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams, and worked at an elite player development program for Chicago-area high school basketball players.

Maestranzi plans to relocate to Rockford. Guilford staff are planning a time for players and their families to meet Maestranzi. “Coach Maestranzi brings a lot of enthusiasm and excitement to this position,” said Guilford High School Athletic Director Augie Toldo. “He’s hungry to help build the program with our students on the court, in the weight room, classroom and community.” Guilford finished the season 11-17 overall; 6-10 in the conference.

Carl Armato, a former Rock Valley College men’s head basketball coach and NIU men’s assistant coach, will continue as an assistant coach at Guilford. Maestranzi considers Armato a mentor and played for him at NIU.

Maestranzi saw Guilford’s team play several times this season and looks forward to sharing his experiences and coaching ability. “Basketball opened a lot of doors for me,” he said. “It’s given me not only great basketball experiences, but also great life experiences and connections to people who have had significant positive effects on my life. That’s the main thing I want these young men to do: work to become champions on the court, in the classroom and in life.”

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