10/08/13 – The Aquinas College Athletic Department saw one of their own take center stage at East Grand Rapids High School last night. Patti Tibaldi, long-time Aquinas College women's basketball, was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame. Tibaldi joins George Barcheski, Tom Hofmann and Terry Bocian as former Saints whose legacies are remembered within the GRSHOF.
Tibaldi began her coaching career at West Catholic High School in the early 1970's. In her eight years there, she compiled a 163-34 record, winning four city league championships and a state championship in 1979. She became head coach at Aquinas College in 1978, developing a program that in her 17 years amassed a record of 340 wins to 136 losses, a winning percentage of over 71 percent. Under Tibaldi's leadership, Aquinas College made three appearances at the NAIA National Women's Basketball Tournament. She also led Aquinas to the National Catholic Basketball Championship in 1984. She was inducted into the Basketball Coaches of Michigan Hall of Fame in 1997, the West Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 1998, the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2002.
Aquinas College Athletic Director Terry Bocian comments, "Patti was a pioneer for women's sports at the high school and college level long before it became fashionable. Her distinguished career of success both at the high school and collegiate level is credit to her work ethic. Tibaldi has received many accolades, but her ability to develop young women into strong, prepared and proud adults is her highest accolade."
Tibaldi currently is the Director of Athletics at Traverse City West where her husband, Joe, a 1973 Aquinas graduate, is principal. The Tibaldi's have two children, Katie (a writer for national television shows working out of Los Angeles and New York City) and Brian (Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Missouri).