December 23rd, 2015

Hyland's Heroes: John DeCamillis

Samantha Stallings

Staff Writer

Hyland's Heroes: John DeCamillis
From Left : Jack, Gabby,John, William, Heather, and Bella / photo provided by the DeCamillis family

The following feature is a part of a bi-weekly series, sponsored by Hyland Insurance. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports.

Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to

John DeCamillis was born and raised in Louisville and is a St. Xavier and Eastern Kentucky University grad. DeCamillis was inducted into the St. X Hall of Fame and graduated law school from UL. DeCamillis has been practicing law for 26 years and lives in the St. Matthews/Highlands neighborhood with his wife Heather and four children: Jack (11), Bella (10), Gabby (8), William (5), and two dogs Coco and Rocco.  

When and how did you get your start with Holy Spirit ?

My sister came back to Louisville as a single mother and thought she would be sending her son to Holy Spirit. I joined the parish and agreed to coach basketball because we knew he would want to play. Turns out he was too young at the time and ended up going to another school, but I stayed because I loved the church, athletic program and strong sense of catholic community.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

My sister encouragement through joining the parish and my love of the game.

What sports did or do you volunteer to help and for how long?

This is my 28th year coaching various basketball teams.  I have helped some with football in the past.

What’s the connection with your faith and giving your time to student athletes?

I grew up in the parochial school system (playing sports) and have always connected, school, church & athletics.

Who was the most influential person on your volunteer career? Why?

The most influential person in my volunteer career is God. He made me realize how much I love basketball and young athletes....I put the two together. When you talk to those young kids and you see them listening to you talk about basketball, you see their eyes widen and light up. You realize that God allows us a place in your education and faith ahead of sports.

What are your major themes/principle as a volunteer?

My major themes/principles as a volunteer comes first. Competing the right way means more than winning the wrong way.

What does your role at Holy Spirit bring your family?

My role at Holy Spirit brings us together in many ways...Currently; I coach both Jack (11) & Bella (10) basketball teams.  Often times, Gabby (8) and William (5) come along to watch, learn and shoot around with the team. Heather enjoys watching everyone practice and play. We never lack dinner table conversation. We can always recap our day at school and then discuss sporting events. The children enjoy cheering each other on from the sidelines. 

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of your volunteer time?

Winning city championships, watching my previous players play collegiate sports and watching/coaching my own children


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