New Castle-DE: The Colonial School District is excited to announce it is dedicating and renaming sports facilities on the William Penn High School (WPHS) campus to honor four former coaches. These honorees met the criteria by serving at least 20 years as a head coach, winning at least five conference championships, and winning at least one state championship during their tenure.
A softball and baseball dedication ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 3:30 PM for:
- Roe Banchini/field hockey and softball fields-After 26 years as the winning field hockey and softball coach at WPHS she was inducted into the Delaware Hall of Fame. Under Bianchini’s leadership, the field hockey team won State Championships in 1988 and 1994 (undefeated in both years) and Softball State Championships in 1986, 1988, and 1989. The field hockey team also won 10 Blue Hen Conference field hockey titles and 18 titles in softball. The News Journal named Bianchini Coach of the Year in 1988-89, and she was selected by national organizations as Delaware’s Most Outstanding Coach in 1989.
- Mel Gardner/ baseball fields- His teams amassed a 370-208 record in his 30 seasons as head coach. They won 11 Blue Hen Conference Championships, one state championship, and four other finalist appearances. He was selected Blue Hen Conference Coach of the Year 10 times, American Baseball Coaches Association District 2 Coach of the Year in 2006, selected to the Delaware Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008, and to the National High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in December of 2014. Approximately 100 of his players played college baseball and 10 others moved to the professional ranks.
In addition to the above, two other coaches will be honored. They are:
- Bruce Reynolds/football field- He was a two-time Delaware Coach of the Year and the first coach in Delaware history to reach 200 wins. As a coach, Reynolds left the district with 218 wins, the most wins in Delaware history at the time of his retirement, won 7 State Division 1 Championships, 9 Conference Championships, and was named National Football League the Philadelphia Eagles High School Coach of the Week in 1999. Reynolds was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in 2003.
- Jack Holloway/wrestling room-He was one of the top high school wrestling coaches in the country during his 25-year stint at William Penn High School (1978-2002). Holloway’s coaching mark was 297-35 (.894 percentage), which included 13 undefeated seasons, and he led his teams to seven State championships.
Reynolds will be honored during halftime at WPHS’s homecoming game on Saturday, October 7, 2023, starting at 1:00 PM. As part of Homecoming weekend celebrations, the field hockey will be dedicated to Banchini at 3:30 PM on Friday, October 6th. Holloway will be honored at a date yet to be determined during the upcoming wrestling season.
William Penn High School is located at 713 E. Basin Rd., New Castle, DE 19720.