Joe Pacheco Voted 'Best Coach'

Joe Pacheco, who coaches girls basketball at St. Joseph High, is voted the area's 'Greatest Coach' in our Readers' Choice poll.

In our quest to discover the area's greatest coach, Cerritos-Artesia Patch received multiple nominations, comments and poll votes.

Ultimately, St. Joseph High School Girls Basketball Coach Joe Pacheco at the all-girls Catholic school in Lakewood .

Pacheco had earned 67 percent of votes cast , when voting ended Friday morning. Coach Mark Johnson of the Cerritos Aquatic Club placed second with 18 percent of the votes, and Coach Richard Roper of the Boys Basketball team had the third most nods. 

Droves of former and current students expressed their thoughts on how Pacheco played an instrumental role in their development as athletes but more importantly as individuals. It's clear to see by the words shared, Pacheco has proved throughout the years that he's not only considered to be a great mentor and "father figure" to his athletes, but also the heart and soul of the school's basketball program.

Here's what a few Patch readers had to say about Pacheco in the comments:

  • "Coach Joe Pacheco has been my basketball coach at Saint Joseph High School and he has made a difference in my life. He has helped every girl in the basketball program improve both as an athlete and person. Even though he pushed us through the running and conditioning, in the end it was worth it because it benefited us. He gave his team all the glory when we did something, he was never selfish. Not only was he there for me on the basketball court but also outside. My sophomore year my grandfather and another teammate of mine's grandfather passed away and Coach Pacheco helped us get through this obstacle and was at the funeral to give his condolences. He treated us more then his players but as his daughters. Thanks to Coach Pacheco I feel like I am ready to start the next steps in my life because of all the lessons he taught us." -- 
  • "Coach Pacheco has made such a huge and special impact in my life. During my junior year of high school, I was diagnosed with cancer. He went above and beyond his duties of a high school basketball coach by helping with fundraisers, checking up on me and my family throughout my treatment and visits to the hospitals. He even generously donated his own blood and platelets that were essential to my recovery. Coach Joe Pacheco is more than simply a coach. He is an admirable person with such a big heart. I will never forget all the amazing deeds he has done for me, and I am forever grateful for having the honor to have met such a kind and compassionate person." --

Congratulations to Coach Pacheco and all of the other great local coaches who received nominations from readers!


Please share your photos and/or video of Coach Joe Pacheco by uploading them to this article. (Just click the green "Upload Photos and Video" button at the top left to do so.)

Pat Pacheco April 04, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I am so touched that so many kids and parents that voted for my husband Joe. He has always put his "girls first". For many of these girls they will only play their high school sport and then go on to college and the rest of life. But will hopefully carry "life skills" that they learned under Coach Pacheco. He pushes them to be their best, to balance school work and time management. That sports are fun and the value of good sportsmanship on and off the court. His heart breaks when they get sick and he does what ever he can do to help, if its giving blood, or fundraising or helping during rehab he will give of his time and talent. As so many coaches and coaches wives know they certainly do not do it for the pay, they do it for the satisfaction of seeing a child do their personal best, and build that self confidence. Joe has not seen the article nor the results, we have been keeping it a secret until Friday and I will cut and paste it and present it to him for a birthday present. I know he will be so touched to hear such kind words form his former and current students. Thank you Patch for the chance for others to know what we already knew about Coach Pacheco! Pat Pacheco
MarieSam Sanchez April 11, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Pat just wanted to see how things went when you told Joe the news? I'm excited to hear what his reaction was :) We also have a certificate to give him!
Pat Pacheco May 16, 2012 at 10:33 PM
So sorry never saw your comment until now. He was brought to tears, I made a little book with all the comments and letters and he was so touched. We had a few friends over and he could not even read them aloud because he got so choked up. I think before he goes to bed each night he opens it reads a comment or two and gets a really big grin on his face. I think for anyone who has been a teacher/coach the greatest gift is the satisfaction that you have made an impact on their lives. Thank you!


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