LOUIS A. PISANI Louis A. Pisani peacefully entered eternal life surrounded by his children February 6, 2021 following valiant battles with chronic myeloid leukemia and prostate cancer. Southern Nevada Baseball lost its "dean" this season. Louis "Coach Lou" Pisani was a pillar in the Las Vegas baseball community for over 50 years and loved to share his passion, enthusiasm, and skills for the game he loved with all the players he coached. Lou was born April 15, 1927 in Oakland, CA to Louis G. and Floresta Pisani, 1916 Italian immigrants. He attended Saint Mary's Grammar School and shortly before graduating Oakland High School, Lou joined the United States Navy in February 1945. He gallantly served his country as Seaman First Class aboard the USS Kinzer in the South Pacific, was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and was then assigned to Pearl Harbor where he served as captain of the fire department. While stationed at the Aiea Barracks in Pearl Harbor, Lou played pitcher and shortstop for the barrack's team and won the 12th Naval District Spring Championship over all Hawaiian bases in 1946. Lou returned to the United States to civilian life and was drafted by the professional baseball team, the California Mohawks. In 1950 he enrolled at the University of San Francisco to obtain his BS in History. While at USF, he played for the Don's baseball, football, and track teams, coached under Pete Newell, playing alongside Ollie Matson. Lou's most significant accomplishment at USF was meeting his "one and only," Rosemary Mikulich. The two shared a class together and Lou coached himself quite well by slowly sitting closer and closer to her, finally hitting a home run by asking her out. The two were married August 8, 1952 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and would later welcome four children. Lou began teaching and coaching at Las Vegas High School in 1953, where he remained for nearly 30 years. When he began his teaching career at LVHS, he coached the sports of football, basketball, and baseball, and taught history and health & science before moving to P.E. When he was appointed as the head baseball coach, he led his Wildcats in capturing three state championships. Coach Lou was named as the Southern Nevada Coach of the Year on four occasions. He was the founder of the Jimmy Dyer Baseball League, now known as American Legion Baseball league. In 1959 Lou played for the Las Vegas Cashman Cowboys, a semi-pro baseball team. Lou loved to teach and enjoyed helping all students achieve, however his first love was baseball, developing young athletes and sharing the game that no one cherished more, he proudly treasured wearing a baseball uniform. After leaving LVHS, in his 7th inning stretch, he continued his coaching career as head baseball coach for BGHS from 1983-87. He held scouting positions for the following MLB Teams: Kansas City Royals (1971-73), Philadelphia Phillies (1974-81), and the San Francisco Giants (1984-88). Lou also served as a coach and scout for the Phoenix Firebirds. In addition, Lou served as a volunteer assistant coach for both the UNLV baseball team and the Las Vegas 51's, he was part of the So. Nevada Referee Association for over 30 years and he was a member of countless other sports programs. In August of 2002, the Mayor of Las Vegas, presented a proclamation, declaring, August 3, 2002 Lou Pisani Day. Coach Lou was then honored in June of 2005 by being inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame. While Lou could be found at all hours on the field, he and his wife Rosemary were one of the founding parish families of Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church. He had a lifelong devotion to his faith and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Most notably, Lou was a man devoted to his faith and family, a loving and supportive father and grandfather. Coach Lou was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Rosemary Pisani (nee Mikulich), and he is survived by his children, Veronica Morton (Charles), Lyndalou Bullard (Bryan), Juliana, and Sam; 14 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren, A Rosary & Visitation will be held at 10:30am, Friday, February 26, 2021 at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church, 3050 Alta Drive, a Funeral Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated immediately following the Rosary at 11am. The family asks that donations be made in Louis Pisani's name to the American Cancer Society
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Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Feb. 19, 2021.