AUBURN – Michael James DiRenzo died Thursay, April 23, at the Hospice House.

He was born in Brockton, Mass., on April 29, 1923, to James and Carrie DiRenzo. The family moved to Auburn, when Mike was a boy. He graduated from Edward Little High School, Class of 1941. He attended the University of Maine at Orono, where he lettered in basketball during the 1942 to ’43 season. He temporarily left college to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946, after which he returned to Orono, graduating in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in education.

For 10 years, he taught physical education and mathematics while coaching varsity basketball at Rockland High School. He later received a master of guidance degree from Orono and served in that capacity at Edward Little High School for many years until his retirement in 1980.

Although an avid enthusiast of all sports, he specifically contributed a great deal to the sport of basketball in the state of Maine. At the age of eight, he began playing basketball at the YMCA after school. When he was in high school, aside from being a member of the “Red Eddies” undefeated state Class A championship basketball team of 1940 to 1941, he was honored individually that season by being selected to the All Western Maine Conference and All-Tournament Teams.

Later, after his 10-year career as a teacher and varsity basketball coach at Rockland High School, he continued his involvement in basketball by becoming an official. In 1986, he was honored by the Maine Association of Basketball Coaches and received their “Contributor Award.”

He has been named “Man of the Year” by the Maine College Basketball Coaches and Writers Association and received the James R. DiFrederico Award for service to Eastern Maine Basketball. In addition, the trophy for MVP and top sportswoman in the Western Maine Class B tournament bears his name.

He was also inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame. By this time, he had officiated 1,800 high school and college basketball games spanning a 28-year career, including schoolboy tournaments, from 1959 to 1975. A 43-year member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, he officiated nine state final games and served as commissioner of Maine High School Basketball for many years.

In 1996, he was awarded the Dick Michelsen Award, given to an EL graduate who exemplifies what Edward Little basketball is all about, namely “teamwork, sportsmanship, dedication and the desire to win.”

In 2008, he was inducted into the Coastal Sports Hall of Fame.

Next to his family, his students and the world of basketball, golf was the love of his life. An active member of Martindale Golf Club for most of his adult life, he first worked there as a caddie when he was 14 years old. His spirits were never so high as after a good golf match with his congenial yet competitive foursome.

He is survived by his sister, Marie White; his wife, Marjorie DiRenzo; three children, Victor DiRenzo, Linda DiRenzo and her companion, Rick Jackson and Carolyn DiRenzo; four grandchildren, Michael, Nicole, Anthony and Mercedes; and three stepchildren, Don MacMillan, Lynn Lepore and her husband, Tony, and Laurie MacMillan.

Guest Book