Gerald "Chips" Giovanine, longtime area basketball coach, passed away Saturday morning. He was 77.
Giovanine began his distinquished coaching career at Bureau Township High School, where he won three straight district championships.
He also coached at Buda Western, leading back-to-back, undefeated Rams teams to the IHSA Class A State tournament in 1974-75 and 1975-76.
He moved on to LaSalle-Peru, developing the Cavaliers into the elite program of the NCIC. His Cavaliers won nine Class AA regional titles and at one point they captured four straight North Central Illinois Conference titles. His 1993 team won the sectional and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Class AA state tournament.
When he finally hung up his coaching whistle in 1994, Giovanine compiled an overall record of 674-265 for a .718 winning percentage.
See Tuesday's BCR for a tribute to the coaching legend from former players, friends and colleagues. "Chips" was held in high esteem throughout the coaching circles statewide.