Coach Jeff Raucci, the new freshmen basketball coach at Foran and past basketball coach at Shelton High School, has shown interest in the fact that the community and school want to know what kind of coach he actually is. Players on the team and athletic director, Anthony Vitelli, describe him as a supportive and dedicated coach.
Raucci is also one of the health teachers at Foran and has connected with his students on and off the court.
Brian Massey, a freshmen playing for him, said, “Mr. Raucci is a great coach. He’s always looking out for us whenever we need help or aren’t clear on either a play or what we should do. He lets us have fun at practice by doing competitions and scrimmages. He is a very smart coach and has come up with great plays to help us work around the defense and get open. He makes sure everyone is having fun during the games and practices.”
To coach here at Foran, Raucci had to be approved by the athletic director.
Vitelli said that as with all coaching positions, the job is first posted on the Milford Public Schools website.
“Within the posting are the qualifications that are required by our school system and the State of Connecticut,” Vitelli said. “Once the deadline to submit applications has passed, Mr. Berkowitz, our selection committee and I, discuss the candidates and then we begin the interviewing process. Mr. Raucci was highly recommended to us by several area head basketball coaches and various administrators throughout the area. I know Coach Ian Kirkpatrick is thrilled to have him on his staff.”
Raucci worked at Shelton High School before coming to Foran, and his former players had positive things to say about him.
A former player, Jacob Demarco, said that Raucci was a positive role model and a great coach.
“He was that coach that was always supportive and positive about anything,” Demarco said. “I was talking to the players on the team and they all said he was all their favorite coach too and he’s personally my favorite coach. I remember if I did something wrong he would make it better by saying ‘just forget about it’ or ‘keep working hard’ and ‘everyone messes up once in a while’. He was always a coach I knew I could go to when I had to talk about stuff on and off the court.”
Co-Captain of the varsity team, Jason Giambra, has worked with Raucci on center drills along with other practice components. He said he learned many important things from Raucci.
“Coach Raucci has taught me a lot on and off the court,” Giambra said. “I learned many useful skills from him. He has taught me new post moves and helped me further develop the moves I need to succeed. Raucci is very passionate for the game. He expresses his love of basketball during games and practices by being very vocal and involved in everything the team does. He knows more than most people I know about the game and tries to pass along his knowledge to us so we can better develop our game.”
“Raucci loves to win and see his players be successful,” Giambra said, “But all he really cares about is the development of the players.”