By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — As he stood in the middle of the newly dedicated basketball court at Fordson High School to deliver a speech, longtime basketball and golf coach Guy DelGiudice was brought to tears from the community’s overwhelming support.
Former and current student athletes and coaches packed the gym on Nov. 29 for the Fordson varsity boys game against Garden City, but the night belonged to DelGiudice.
He began his speech thanking his wife, children, parents, nieces, nephews and extended family for their unwavering support and sacrifices made over the years. DelGiudice also thanked Assistant Athletic Director Chuck Silver; his son, Athletic Director Jeff DelGiudice; varsity boys basketball coach Osama Abulhassan; Principal Heyam Alcodray; former boys basketball coach John McIntyre; and many more Fordson staff, players and coaches.
“Thank you for this great honor and for your support over the years. I appreciate it,” Guy DelGiudice said. “This honor also belongs to you. A special thanks to all the selfless players that I’ve had the privilege to coach, past and present.
“Last but not least I would like to thank the athletic director, my son, Jeff, who also helped make this all possible, he is truly a Tractor and works very hard to make the integrity of all our sports here the best they can be.”
At 71 years old, he is currently the varsity boys basketball assistant coach and is also the boys and girls golf coach at FHS. After Abulhassan was named coach at the age of 25, he brought Guy DelGiudice on as an assistant.
“We’ve won four out of five district championships, we had the three-peat and none of that would’ve been possible without Coach Guy,” Abulhassan said. “I wouldn’t be half the man or coach I was without his influence, and we’re here tonight to honor him.”
Former basketball assistant coach Doug Marks served as the master of ceremonies during the court dedication when he called Guy DelGiudice a man of faith, integrity, hard work and humility.
“More important than all the records, all the awards and all the accolades Guy has earned is that many hundreds of young men and women to whom he has dedicated his life to coaching and mentoring is where he has left his most lasting mark,” Marks said. “For the last 40 years Guy DelGiudice has embodied the spirit, hard work and pride that defines what a Fordson Tractor truly is and his name is now forever etched on this floor as a testament to this legacy.”
The Fordson gym is named after McIntyre, who also coached Guy DelGiudice in the 1960s and was a mentor to him. McIntyre could not be in attendance during the ceremony, but an updated sign hung from the gymnasium wall.
During his time as an athlete from 1963 to 1966, Guy DelGiudice’s teams won three district championships and two regional titles. He was the captain of the 1966 regional championship team, their leading scorer and an All-State selection, Marks said.
Alcodray presented a plaque to Guy DelGiudice as his wife, Janet DelGiudice, stood by him at center court. The plaque read, “An appreciation for your over five decades of loyalty and service to Fordson High School and its students. You will always be respected, remembered and called coach.”
Guy DelGiudice began his coaching career in 1981 at Fordson, and during those 37 years, he has coached basketball, tennis for both girls and boys along with girls’ soccer.
In his 52 total seasons coaching, he won 245 games as a varsity girls basketball coach, including five league championships, nine district championships and three regional finals appearances.
Guy DelGiudice graduated from FHS in 1966 where he was the captain of the basketball team, third team all-state and three-year letter winner.
The decision to name the gymnasium floor started with a nine-person committee created for the proposal presented to the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education on May 14.
Fordson and Alcodray proposed naming its gymnasium floor to honor Guy DelGiudice.
Plans presented for the gym were to hang a sign on the gym wall commemorating the naming next to the John McIntyre Gym sign which Silver said was going to be updated. The stickers for the court feature Guy DelGiudice’s signature and have been placed on each side of the court facing the stands.
During the May meeting, Silver told the board that the $1,100 cost for the sign and stickers would be covered by the Fordson Varsity Alumni Club. The stickers were added in July when the FHS floors were stripped and new wax was placed during resurfacing.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)