|Born||January 5, 1925|
New York City, New York
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1950–1958||St. Ann's Academy HS|
|1958–1965||St. John's (assistant)|
|1970–1973||New York Nets|
|Head coaching record|
|Overall||205–34 (high school)|
|Tournaments||17–20 (NCAA Division I)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2 CHSAA (1952, 1958)|
5 Big East regular season (1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1992)
2 Big East Tournament (1983, 1986)
|2× Henry Iba Award (1983, 1985)|
NABC Coach of the Year (1983)
UPI Coach of the Year (1985)
3× Big East Coach of the Year (1983, 1985, 1986)
|Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 1992 (profile)
|College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2006
Luigi P. Carnesecca (born January 5, 1925) is an American retired college basketball coach at St. John's University. Carnesecca also coached at the professional level, leading the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association for three seasons. Carnesecca was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
He coached the St. John's basketball program to 526 wins and 200 losses over 24 seasons (1965–70, 1973–92). The colorful "Looie" (as he was popularly known by fans and by the media) reached the post-season in every season he coached the team, including a Final Four appearance in 1985. He was selected as the National Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1985 by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Carnesecca is widely known for his sense of humor and his signature sweaters. In November 2004, St. John's University officially dedicated and renamed the historic Alumni Hall to Carnesecca Arena.
Early life and education
Carnesecca attended high school at St. Ann's Academy in Manhattan (now academic and athletic powerhouse Archbishop Molloy High School). Upon graduation, he served for three years in the US Coast Guard during World War II, where he served on a troop transport in the Pacific theater.
Upon discharge from the Coast Guard, he then enrolled at St. John's and graduated in 1950. He also coached his high school alma mater, St. Ann's, where he was succeeded by Jack Curran.
After beginning his coaching career at St. John's in 1965, Carnesecca jumped to the pro level. He was head coach and general manager of the American Basketball Association's New York Nets for three seasons from 1970 to 1973. The ballclub qualified for the postseason in each of the three campaigns with Carnesecca at the helm. The 1971–72 Nets finished third in the regular season but reached the ABA Finals where they were defeated by the Indiana Pacers in six games. Despite the loss of Rick Barry and a 30–53 record, the Nets edged out the Memphis Tams for fourth place and the final playoff berth in the Eastern Division in 1972–73.
Carnesecca announced his return to St. John's on March 27, 1973. He replaced Frank Mulzoff, his successor from three years earlier who had resigned after a 19–7 campaign. He had two years out of a total of five remaining on his Nets contract in which he was to have received about $200,000 spread over seven years. His $22,000 salary at St. John's meant that he took a financial loss in the transition. He explained, "I've had my whack at pro ball and I'm very happy with it. But when the opportunity arose to return to St. John's, I wanted to go back."
Carnesecca was also a longtime announcer for the USA Network's coverage of the yearly NBA drafts of the 1980s.
Head coaching record
|St. Ann's Academy / Archbishop Molloy High School (Catholic High School Athletic Association) (1950–1958)|
|1951–52||St. Ann's||24–6||CHSAA Champion|
|1953–54||St. Ann's||29–1||CHSAA Final|
|1955–56||St. Ann's||26–4||CHSAA Final|
|1957–58||Archbishop Molloy||32–0||CHSAA Champion|
|St. Ann's / Archbishop Molloy:||205–34 (.858)|
Postseason invitational champion
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Playoffs||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|NYN||1971||84||40||44||.476||3rd in Eastern||6||2||4||.333||Lost in ABA Division Semifinals|
|NYN||1972||84||44||40||.524||3rd in Eastern||19||10||9||.526||Lost in ABA Finals|
|NYN||1973||84||30||54||.357||4th in Eastern||5||1||4||.200||Lost in ABA Division Semifinals|
- "At St. John's, Carnesecca has been part of the neighborhood for nearly 45 years". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
- Porter, David L. (editor)"Carnesecca, Luigi 'Lou' 'Louie'", Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 2005, page 70. ISBN 0-313-30952-3
- Goldaper, Sam. "Carnesecca Rounds Out Cycle, Returns to Redmen," The New York Times, Wednesday, March 28, 1973. Retrieved November 30, 2020