Fenwick girls basketball coach Dave Power will retire from the bench next year after a career boasting more than 900 wins, three state titles and induction into three halls of fame. | FILE

Fenwick High School girls basketball head coach Dave Power announced Nov. 1 that he will retire from coaching after this upcoming season. He will remain on the faculty in the physical education/health department, according to Fenwick Principal Peter Groom in a press release from the school.

Power says he doesn’t want his impending retirement to become a distraction for the Friars.

“We need to remain focused on our goals for the up and coming season,” he stated in the press release. “During [state] tournament time, I always tell my seniors to play every game as if it’s their last — because it very well may be. Well, that’s my approach for this ‘farewell’ season. I promise that I’m going to coach every game, including the state playoffs, like it could be my very last one.”

Groom said Power’s hiring was one of the best decisions ever made by the school. He lauded Power for not only his athletic success — he also coached the 1998 softball team to a third-place finish in the AA state tournament — but also for making sure his student-athletes did their job in the classroom.

Fenwick girls basketball coach Dave Power | Provided.

“While Dave had tremendous success on the court and the diamond, he was most passionate about the success of our girls academically while in a safe environment,” Groom stated in the release. “While many in our community played an enormous role in our successful transition to co-education, no one was as impactful as Dave.”

Fenwick Athletic Director Scott Thies had Power as his physical education teacher while he was a student and saw why he was successful.

“Coach Power was invested in all of his kids in wanting them to be successful beyond basketball,” said Thies in the release. “He built strong relationships with his athletes and in doing so, they responded to his coaching. He is a great example to all coaches, and I’m honored to call Coach Power a friend.”

Power has coached high school basketball for 45 years, and has served as Fenwick’s coach for the last 29. Before arriving at the school, he spent 10 seasons at now-closed Immaculate Heart of Mary in Westchester and five seasons at Proviso West.

Power has 997 career victories as a basketball coach. Only the late Gene Pingatore, who coached boys basketball at St. Joseph High School for 50 years, and Dorothy Gaters, who last week announced her retirement as Marshall High School’s girls basketball coach after 45 years, notched more wins.

His teams have won three state championships, one at IHM in 1987 and two at Fenwick in 2001 and 2007. Both of the Friars’ championship teams were ranked second in the nation by USA Today.

Power also coached the Friars to a state runner-up finish in 2003 and third-place finishes in 2000 and 2010. He has amassed nine trips to the Elite Eight, 12 sectional titles, 31 regional titles, and has won 16 consecutive East Suburban Catholic Conference championships.

He has also coached in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Game and is inducted in the halls of fame of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association, the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference and the ESCC.

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