John Castellani

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For the American public affairs executive, see John J. Castellani.

John Castellani (born August 23, 1926) is a former professional basketball coach. He coached the Minneapolis Lakers during the 1959-1960 season. Prior to his short coaching stint with the Lakers, Castellani coached Seattle University from 1956 to 1958. With Elgin Baylor starring in his lineup, Castellani led the Chieftains to the 1958 NCAA Championship game only to lose 84-72 to legendary coach Adolph Rupp and his Kentucky Wildcats.

However, just a month after the championship game, NCAA violations came to light concerning airfare bought for recruits Ben Warley and George Finley. The result was that Castellani resigned under fire, Baylor left for the NBA, and Seattle was given a two-year postseason ban.[1] Castellani returned to coaching for one year, again coaching Elgin Baylor as Head Coach for the Lakers in the 1959–60 NBA season.

Currently, he is an attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and can frequently be seen at Milwaukee Bucks and Marquette Golden Eagles basketball games.


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