On January 27, 2001, the late Mauro Potestio attended his 1,000th Pilot basketball game. The event also marked the 759th consecutive home game Potestio had attended. Suffice it to say that Mauro was and shall most likely remain the most avid Pilot athletics fan of all time. He passed away on Saturday, February 5, at the age of 86.
Potestio, with his dapper attire and signature bowtie, was probably best known for his absolute devotion to the men’s basketball team. While he is noted here mostly for his 1,000th game, Mauro attended 898 consecutive home games, a streak that spanned 62 years and 12 different presidential administrations. The streak began and ended with victories – a 53-48 win over Pacific Lutheran on December 8, 1949 and a 85-70 win over nationally ranked St. Mary’s on January 29, 2011. Mauro was heavily involved with the University athletic department, serving in various positions for more than 40 years. He was the scorekeeper for the men’s basketball team for 26 years after being asked by former Pilots head coach Jim “Mush” Torson. From 1980 to 1988, Mauro served as sports information director, after which he became the men’s head golf coach, a position he held from 1988 to 1997. In 1993, he led the program to its only West Coast Conference golf championship in school history. Among his many passions was collecting as many Frank Sinatra records and souvenirs he could lay his hands on. He sure would have loved to have been at this year’s home court victory over Gonzaga, but then again, in many ways he was.
For more University history, see the University Almanac at up.edu/almanac.