Joe Filoteo, Jr.

Inducted: 2008

Best Known For: Basketball Boys Coach

Hometown: Waco, TX

College: Baylor University

High School Coach: Edinburg High

Adding up Joe Filoteo’s accomplishments will take a long time and a giant pad of paper, especially because the Edinburg High basketball coaching legend adds to his lengthy list of accolades every season.

After his Runnin’ Bobcats set a program record for wins in a season in 2008 (32), Filoteo is still rolling right along in a career that has earned him induction into the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame this summer. The Hall ceremony will be June 20 in McAllen, as Filoteo will join four other inductees in joining 169 greats from the past.

The Waco native and Baylor graduate came to the Valley in 1983 and after taking the helm at EHS, proceeded to establish a consistent powerhouse built on fantastic transition offense and hard, in-your-face defense. He has won 553 games in 25 seasons, translating to more than 22 a year, and has been no stranger to the state playoffs.

The Bobcats have made the postseason 11 of the past 13 years, with three straight District 31-5A titles to their credit heading into 2009. Filoteo has led his group to seven district crowns all told, has been named league Coach of the Year five times, and twice has been honored with the All-Valley award as Coach of the Year.

It’s not just about making it for “Coach Filo” and his legion of hoopsters. EHS has advanced to the state Sweet 16 three times, including in 2008, after the team went through the district season unbeaten for the first time.

While winning basketball games is the name of the game, and something Filoteo has done exceedingly well for a quarter or a century, he has also been one of the pioneers in making the Valley hoops scene a big name on the state level. As a member of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches since 1979, he has joined with coaching colleagues Roy Garcia, Robert Capello and others to promote local basketball. Filoteo is the only man to preside as president of the Rio Grande Valley Basketball Coaches Association twice, and has organized the annual South Padre Island Coaching Clinic since 1992.

This summer the Bobcat leader realized a lifelong dream when he was selected to coach at the TABC State All-Star Game in May, bringing Texas-wide recognition to the area with the honor.

He has also done his part in popularizing basketball for Valley kids, having run a summer skills camp for young people for 23 years. The soft-spoken veteran has also been associated with the TABC Camp of Champs since 1985, proving that being a successful mentor means contributing to the well being of the sport on every level.

The Edinburg legend has had the privilege recently of coaching against some of his outstanding ex-Bobcat players, including Lalo Rios (head man at Economedes) and David Keith (Sharyland). Being able to send protégés into the coaching ranks is gratifying for this basketball junkie, almost as exciting as notching an annual run deep into the state playoffs with the beloved Runnin’ Bobcats.

Though he wasn’t born and raised in the Valley, Joe Filoteo got here as soon as he could, and immediately began to win, setting a lasting standard of excellence that is second to none.