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SouthtownStar (Chicago, Illinois)

After hearing impassioned pleas from former and current players and parents, Bremen High School District 228 school board members continued to meet in closed session Thursday night regarding the teaching and coaching future of John Maniatis.

Maniatis, 46, of Frankfort, a longtime social studies teacher and girls basketball coach at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, was the subject of a special board meeting that was called in the wake of him being charged with drunken driving on April 4.

Maniatis was arrested at 12:45 a.m. after failing field sobriety tests during a traffic stop at U.S. 30 and 93rd Avenue in Frankfort, according to police.

A Thursday hearing on the case at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet was rescheduled for May 6, as Maniatis' attorneys asked for more time, and the arresting officer was not present.

More than 50 former and current players packed Bremen High School's library Thursday night to speak and show support for Maniatis. After they spoke, the board went into a closed session about 7:35 p.m. and remained there as of 10:30 p.m.

Maniatis was enshrined in the Illinois High School Association Girls Basketball Hall of Fame in a ceremony April 26 at Illinois State University.

He's 13 wins shy of 500 career victories. His 487-100 record includes 15 regional, seven sectional and three supersectional titles.

In 2010 and '11, his Hawks teams finished second in the state in Class 3A and returned to the state finals for a third consecutive season in 2012, finishing third.

During Maniatis' tenure, he never has had a losing season. In one stretch from 1996 to 2004, Hillcrest won 87 consecutive conference games, the third-longest streak in IHSA history.

Contributing: Frank Vaisvilas




May 2, 2014


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