Skip to main content


Joe Petrocelli

Joe Petrocelli

  • Joe Petrocelli

Birthdate: January 16, 1938
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio
High School: Cincinnati Purcell (1956)
College: Xavier University (1960, 1968)

When he became the first head basketball coach at Kettering Alter High School in 1964 at the tender age of 26, Joe Petrocelli couldn’t have had any idea what was in store for him. Who would expect to win 800 games and still be coaching at the same school 46 years later? Only one other coach in Ohio has won 700 games, let alone 800. And very few have the interest and energy to be coaching when they’re 73 years old. Petrocelli has had a remarkable run at Alter. His teams have won three state championships (1978, 1999, 2001), 24 district titles and eight regional crowns. Under his guidance, the Knights had a 77-game home court winning streak from 1971 to 1981. He has coached two future NBA players – brothers Jim and John Paxson – and many who received Division I college scholarships. Petrocelli spent 50 seasons at Alter, ending his career with 826 wins when he retired in February of 2013.

Read the Dayton Daily News article about his retirement.

Watch Joe Petrocelli’s enshrinement speech: