The newest class of the Pirate Hall of Fame included two of the longest tenured coaches in Platte County history and one longtime member of the board of education. Greg Jaros, Jan Patterson and Mary Temperelli were inducted during a ceremony Friday, Feb. 17 ahead of the boys basketball game vs. Winnetonka.
Jaros spent 29 years at Platte County coaching baseball, football and basketball before moving into a role as activities director.
The father of two standout athletes for the Pirates, Jaros coached the baseball team to district championships in 2000-2002, 2004 and 2006. They went on to win the Class 3A state championship in 2002 — the only state title in program history — with a 19-1 drubbing of St. Mary’s (St. Louis) in the championship game.
Jaros coached multiple all-state athletes who went on collegiate careers. Jake Blackwood, a 2004 graduate who played for Jaros, recently retired after an 11-year professional career.
As a member of the football coaching staff, Jaros served as defensive coordinator during Platte County's run of three consecutive state championships from 2000-2002. The Pirates won 52 straight games at one point.
“When I was first let known of this recognition, I was totally overwhelmed and I actually really broke into tears,” said Jaros, a 2016 inductee in the Missouri Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. “I’m from St. Louis, and I always thought this was just going to be a stepping stone for me and I can go back to St. Louis and teach. But once you’re here and you’re teaching here and you’re coaching here, this is the best school community, the best school system, the best parents and the best students in the state of Missouri so why go somewhere else?
“I’m very humbled and very honored to have been a part of this school system. I thank you very much, and I appreciate from the bottom of my heart. And all I can say is once a Pirate, always a Pirate.”
Patterson retired following the 2015 school year after 36 years of teaching and coaching in the district. She spent time with the volleyball, basketball, softball, and track and field teams during her more than three decades while keeping her post as a middle school physical education teacher.
“I truly appreciate this honor and I’m very thankful just for being able to be here and stand in front of you guys,” Patterson said. “I’m also thankful very much for my mom and dad who taught me a great love for sports and community and for taking part in sporting events and community events in my home town of Chillicothe, (Mo.).”
When hired in 1979, there were only three interscholastic varsity sports offered to girls and no need for help at that level. Patterson started coaching intramurals but quickly latched on to assistant coaching positions in volleyball, basketball and track and field.
Patterson ended up sticking with volleyball throughout her career while eventually giving up track and basketball while adopting and leaving softball duties in between. Ironically, volleyball was one of the few sports she didn’t have experience with while growing up.
In 14 years as head coach, Patterson accrued a record of 249-125-25 in volleyball, winning three Suburban Conference titles and three district titles (Class 3 in 2007 and 2008 and Class 4 in 2014). She also spent four years as head softball coach from 1995-1998 before giving that up when the Missouri State High School Activities Association moved the sport to the fall season.
“As a child I really loved playing and just being active in my community,” Patterson said, and I think this became a very important part for me in helping my students and my athletes of all ages to appreciate a love the opportunity they have to play, to work hard and give it their full heart. I’m especially thankful for every student and athlete I ever taught or coached; it was an honor for me to watch them and help them grow. They are why I loved teaching and coaching and why I stayed with it for so long.”
Temperelli previously served as the Platte County R-3 Board of Education president and vice president during a nine-year tenure. She was also a Parent Teacher Association officer at Barry School for many years, earning the honor of PTA Lifetime Award winner.
“The reason I’m here tonight is because of the love our kids receive,” Temperelli said. “I came to understand that no one can become a good educator without love and my family showed me a lot of it at Platte County which is why we’ll always be Pirates.”