On March 18, 2017 Northwest Catholic boys’ basketball coach John Mirabello was honored for significant contribution to high school basketball in the state of Connecticut. He received his award before the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) boys’ championship game at Mohegan Sun.
Since 1987 Mirabello has been coaching boys’ basketball at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford. Over the past 30 years, his teams have achieved great success, and John has become a respected coach, teacher, and mentor.
John Mirabello’s love for the game began in his youth, growing up in Wethersfield and playing for legendary coach Joe Reilly at the now-closed South Catholic High School in Hartford. At South Catholic he learned what it meant to play with skill and how to be a good team member. After high school Mirabello played point guard for the Quinnipiac University Bobcats. He served as team captain during his junior and senior years and still holds a place in the school’s record books, ranking #2 in all-time career assists and #3 in all-time career steals.
In 1998, 11 seasons into his career, Mirabello coached Northwest Catholic to it first CIAC state championship since 1973. State championships followed in 2000, 2002, and 2003, for a total of four state championships in 29 seasons, with an additional four runner-up plaques earned in the process. To date Mirabello has also coached his teams to 15 20-win seasons, 13 regular-season conference titles, and 10 conference tournament championships. During his tenure, 25 players have earned All-State recognition, seven players have scored 1,000 points or more, and alumni have played at the highest levels of collegiate basketball and professionally in Europe.
In 30 years of coaching, Mirabello has accumulated numerous accolades, including the Jim Calhoun Award from the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and Connecticut Coach of the Year award in 2002. He is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and on January 2, 2016, Mirabello became just the 15th coach in CIAC history to win 500 or more games.
While earning these victories and accolades, Mirabello and his dedicated assistant coaches have fostered a culture of hard work, selflessness, and respect while teaching hundreds of young men lessons that transcend basketball. His teams have been awarded the IAABO District 6 Walter D. Ackerley Sportsmanship Award eight times, and he takes great pride in the opportunity to mentor a rapidly growing network of basketball coaches with ties to his program.
John Mirabello’s dedication to the development of young people also extends to his work as a teacher at Northwest Catholic, where he has taught Physical Education, U.S. History, Health, and Psychology since 1987. In 2011 the gymnasium floor at NWC was named the “Mirabello Court” in recognition of Mirabello’s outstanding service to the school community.
The Mirabello family, ever present in the bleachers behind the bench and always supportive of the team, includes his parents as well as John’s wife, Isabella, and their four children: Luca, Dante, Gianni, and Tessa.