By C.J. Peterson
In the words of Babe Ruth, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
To many in the Las Positas community, former head coach Tony Costello was that legend.
And on March 12, Costello was recognized as such when he was inducted into the California Community College’s Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Costello’s Tri-Valley roots came about very early, graduating from Amador Valley High School in 1974.
He would become an assistant coach at his alma mater, and after a few years would take a head coaching position at Dublin High School.
Costello stayed at Dublin High for six years, until he was offered a coaching position at Las Positas’ sister school, Chabot College.
Costello would spend 17 years at Chabot, 14 of which as the head coach of the school’s men’s basketball program.
Leading the Gladiators to two conference championships (2003 & 2005), Costello’s teams qualified for the California State tournament 12 times, including advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1997, and the Elite eight in 2003.
He would finish his tenure at Chabot with a 250-179 record and be considered one of the school’s most successful coaches.
In 2007, Costello was named the first head coach of the Las Positas men’s basketball team. In his first six seasons, he would put up a school best, 100-79 record.
Costello’s teams would also qualify for the playoffs in 2008, 2011, and in 2012, when his team advanced to the Sweet 16.
Unfortunately, 2012 would be Costello’s final season as head coach. He died on August 25, 2013, at the age of 57, the result of a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
In 2014, Las Positas renamed their annual “LPC Tip-Off Tournament” to the “Tony Costello Memorial Tournament” in memory of the former head coach.
Though the void has never been filled, Costello’s legend lives on, as his greatness was recognized this past March.
And as the Hawks ended their best season since Costello’s presence, that legend continues to thrive.