Former students, athletes, teaching colleagues and friends filled the auditorium at Georgetown Middle School to celebrate the life of longtime coach and physical education teacher Herman Bastianelli. He was remembered as a family man, and also as a friend, a mentor, and a father figure by his former athletes.
Bastianelli started the wrestling program at Georgetown High School (which is now the middle and elementary schools) in the 1950s. His wrestling teams won 56 straight dual meets between 1961 and 1969, and had some undefeated state championship seasons, along with state champions. Bastianelli went 150-15 as a wrestling coach. In 1980, he coached Sussex Central's cross country team to the state championship. Bastianelli was inducted into the Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Bastianelli's family recalled their trips to the beach, including how he'd swim from downtown Ocean City all the way up to Fenwick Island, and how he'd try to play matchmaker for the kids in his family when they were teenagers. His former athletes and students remembered him for pushing them to be their best in both athletics and the classroom.
Bastianelli died on Thursday. He was in his late 80s. His family is asking that instead of flowers, donations be made in his memory to Delaware Hospice
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