After 41 years in the business, Leesville head basketball coach Carmelo Mastrosimone is calling it a career.

After 41 years in the business, Leesville head basketball coach Carmelo Mastrosimone is calling it a career.

Effective June 1, Mastrosimone, better know as “Coach Mastro,” will retire from coaching and teaching, spending his final eight years at Leesville.

“I know Leesville basketball will continue to be very successful,” he said in his retirement address. “They will have a first class basketball program in the state of Louisiana in the future.”

Mastro attended High Point College in North Carolina from 1971-73, where he met former Northwestern State University head coach J.D. Barnett, who was the coach at High Point.

After those two years, Mastro made his way to West Texas State University in 1973 on a basketball scholarship and eventually served as a graduate assistant there in 1976.

His high school coaching career began in 1976 and he has coached in three states — Virginia, Texas and Louisiana.

Having served as an assistant coach for 26 of his 41 years, Mastro was the head coach for eight years at Leesville, one year at Evans, one year at High Island (Texas), two years in Harlingen (Texas) and one year in Mathis (Texas).

His overall record as a head coach was 248-190, with the majority of those wins coming at Leesville, where he owned a mark of 150-104 in eight years. In 10 of his 15 years as a head coach, including 7-of-8 at Leesville, Mastro's teams reached the playoffs.

During the course of his eight years at Leesville, the Wampus Cats defeated rival DeRidder in 15 consecutive contests from 2013-16. He also had wins in 2014 over a couple of state championship teams, while also defeating Peabody on three occasions.

However, arguably the greatest victory in his time at Leesville came in 2015 when the Wampus Cats beat Peabody in the famed Emerald Palace. That was only the third loss for the Warhorses in their gym under the guidance of head coach Charles Smith in 25 years.

“Beating Peabody in the Emerald Palace was one of the highlights of my career,” Mastro said. “We were also No. 1 in the state for eight consecutive weeks that year. We finished that season with a record of 27-6.”

Mastro also served for a time as the head coach of Leesville cross country teams, where he won four straight district titles on the girls' side and five in a row on the boys' side. He also worked as the video coordinator for the Wampus Cat football program.

Over his 41 years in the business, Mastro has also been a head baseball and softball coach.

However, his greatest success came at Leesville as the head basketball coach, where he has sent players such as Derrick Brock, LeSean Waters, Reggie Smith, Jarrell Parker, DaShawn Lewis and Vidall Corbin to the next level, while current Wampus Cat Terrell Lucas will likely sign somewhere soon.

“It was a privilege working with these young men,” Mastro said.