Freshman Ava McDonald will be one of Huntington's top returning players. (Darin Reed photo.)

Perry Marinelli Named Varsity Girls’ Basketball Head Coach

June 7, 2024

Perry Marinelli has been named Huntington High School’s new varsity girls’ basketball coach. Huntington School Board members unanimously approved his appointment during a public meeting this past Monday night.

New Huntington head coach Perry Marinello in the sidelines in Northport.

A Northport High School graduate, Mr. Marinelli played football at Springfield College in Massachusetts before graduating from SUNY Oneonta. He later earned a master’s degree and teaching certification at CUNY Queens College.

The sideline mentor’s first coaching job was as a volunteer assistant with the Huntington varsity girls’ basketball team. The next year he led the Blue Devil JV to a 16-4 record and captured JV League Coach of the Year honors.

For the past six years he has worked at Northport High School as the JV coach and varsity assistant. During that time the JV team compiled an record of 94-10 and Mr. Marinelli was named JV League Coach of the Year four separate times.

While working with the Northport varsity, the Tigers won the county championship in 2020 and the team reached the Suffolk finals four times in 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023. The varsity had a record of 90-12 during the time Mr. Marinelli worked in the Northport program.

“I am so excited and honored to be given the opportunity to lead this prestigious Huntington Blue Devil girls’ basketball program” Mr. Marinelli said. “I believe this program has a lot of potential to be one of the best in Suffolk County. We have a lot of players returning, but we are still a young team overall with a lot of potential and room for growth, which I think is reflected in the staff as well. We want to present an image of positivity. We want to be passionate and energetic.”

The new coach met with the returning team after school on Wednesday. “We have high hopes for this program and many goals,” Marinelli said. “None are more important than building a culture based on our core beliefs and values, which we hope to instill throughout all levels of the program. We want to be a team that competes yearly for league titles and is always a threat to win the county championship. We know it is not going to happen overnight, but we have a plan to build our culture and we believe that will help us reach the places we want to go.”

Mr. Marinelli coached three seasons of AAU basketball, including one with the Long Island Lightning and two with Premier AAU. He’s also worked as a varsity assistant football coach at Northport for the past four seasons, including a county championship game appearance in 2022.

Huntington’s new varsity head coach is employed fulltime as a William Floyd High School social studies teacher. He’s developed a five year plan for the Blue Devils that involves player and program development and an awful lot of winning.

“We want to be connected as a team both on and off the court,” Mr. Marinelli said. “We want to be a family. Defensively we want to be a tough, disruptive team that causes turnovers. Offensively we want to play fast and push in transition. We want to share the ball and be able to make the right plays. Most importantly our purpose is to create a successful program that provides student athletes with memories and lessons they can carry with them throughout life.”