Harry Perretta

Harry F. Perretta Jr. (born July 22, 1955)[1] is the head coach of the women's basketball team at Villanova University. When he was hired in 1978 at the age of 22, he became the youngest coach to ever head a women's varsity program at Villanova.[2][3]

Harry Perretta
Current position
ConferenceBig East
Record765–476 (.616)
Biographical details
Born (1955-07-22) July 22, 1955
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Head coaching record
Overall765–476 (.616)
Accomplishments and honors
Big East Coach of the Year Award (1996)
Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year (1995, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004)

Coaching career

At the time that Perretta interviewed for the position of head coach, he was one of 65 applicants. He had been out of college only two months at the time, which initially prompted Villanova to drop him from serious consideration. However, Dutch Burch, the head coach at Lycoming College, sent in a letter of recommendation to Villanova—Perretta had suffered a career-ending injury to his ankle while a freshman at Lycoming, and Burch persuaded Perretta to become a student assistant coach. Perretta also coached the junior varsity team for two years. Burch's letter helped persuade Villanova to give Perretta a chance.[3]

The school made it to the Final Four of the 1982 AIAW Tournament, the last year that tournament was held.[4]

Teams he has coached have earned invitations to many post-season tournaments. The 2002-03 team advanced as far as the Elite Eight.[5]

Peretta announced on October 30, 2019 that he would retire at the end of the 2019–20 season. At the time, he had been dealing with health issues for several years. His 42nd and final season at Villanova ties him with Yvonne Kaufmann, who coached at NCAA Division III Elizabethtown from 1971 to 2012, for the most seasons as head coach at a single school in NCAA women's basketball history (including seasons in which women's sports were governed by the AIAW).[6]

Awards and honors

  • 1995—Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year[7]
  • 1996—Big East Coach of the Year[7]
  • 1996—Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year[7]
  • 2001—Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year[7]
  • 2003—Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year[7]
  • 2004—Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year[7]
  • 2007—Lycoming Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007[8]
  • 2011—Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Special Achievement Award[9]
  • Special Achievement – Charlie Manuel (Phillies manager)[9]

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Villanova Wildcats (Atlantic 10 Conference) (1978–1980)
1978-79 Villanova 17-8
1979-80 Villanova 20-5
Villanova: 37–13 (.740)
Villanova Wildcats (Big East (original)) (1980–2013)
1980-81 Villanova 22-6
1981-82 Villanova 29-4AIAW
1982-83 Villanova 14-154-4t4th
1983-84 Villanova 22-76-2t1st
1984-85 Villanova 21-912-4t1st
1985-86 Villanova 23-812-4t2ndNCAA Second Round
1986-87 Villanova 27-415-11stNCAA First round
1987-88 Villanova 20-911-52ndNCAA First round
1988-89 Villanova 18-1211-52ndNCAA First round
1989-90 Villanova 9-191-159th
1990-91 Villanova 12-174-128th
1991-92 Villanova 11-177-11t3rd
1992-93 Villanova 15-1310-8t4th
1993-94 Villanova 13-147-11t6th
1994-95 Villanova 19-913-52nd
1995-96 Villanova 21-713-53rd, BE6
1996-97 Villanova 14-148-105th, BE6
1997-98 Villanova 19-1012-6t2nd, BE6WNIT
1998-99 Villanova 14-149-9t6th
1999-00 Villanova 15-157-9t6thWNIT
2000-01 Villanova 22-911-5t4thNCAA Second Round
2001-02 Villanova 20-1112-4t3rdNCAA Second Round
2002-03 Villanova 28-612-4t3rdNCAA Elite Eight
2003-04 Villanova 23-712-4t2ndNCAA Second Round
2004-05 Villanova 19-1210-6t4thWNIT
2005-06 Villanova 21-119-7t6thWNIT
2006-07 Villanova 8-212-1416th
2007-08 Villanova 17-165-11t11thWNIT
2008-09 Villanova 19-1412-4t4thNCAA First round
2009-10 Villanova 14-163-1315th
2010-11 Villanova 12-193-13t13th
2011-12 Villanova 19-156-10t10thWNIT
2012-13 Villanova 21–119–7t6thNCAA First round
Villanova: 601–391 (.606)268–228 (.540)
Villanova Wildcats (Big East (current)) (2014–present)
2013-14 Villanova 23–912–6t3rdWNIT Second Round
2014-15 Villanova 22–1412–63rdWNIT Quarterfinals
2015-16 Villanova 20–1212–63rdWNIT Second Round
2016-17 Villanova 20–1511–7t4thWNIT Semifinals
2017-18 Villanova 23–912–63rdNCAA Second Round
2018–19 Villanova 19–139–9T-4thWNIT Second Round
2019–20 Villanova
Villanova: 127–69 (.648)68–40 (.630)
Total:765–476 (.616)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 23 Sep 2015.
  2. "Harry Perretta". Villanova Athletics. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  3. Blaum, Gene (February 8, 1988). "The Other Villanova Basketball Coach". Philly.com. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  4. "CNNSI Recap of 1982 Tournament". Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  5. "Villanova 2011-12 Women's Basketball Guide". Villanova Athletics. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  6. "Villanova's Harry Perretta says he'll retire at end of season". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 30, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  7. "Big East Media Guide". Big East. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  8. "Harry Perretta Class of 1978 Induction Class of 2007". Lycoming College. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  9. "Charlie Manuel, Cheryl Reeve among PSWA award-winners". Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. January 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
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