Carl Armato begins his first season as assistant women's basketball coach on the Northern Illinois University women's basketball team.
Armato, an assistant with the men's basketball team the past six years, played a key role in the development of several of NIU's top performers. In 2005-06 Northern Illinois men's basketball team was one of the Mid-American Conference's top shooting clubs thanks to Armato's tutelage, ranking first in both three-point shooting (39.4) and free-throw shooting (74.8), while ranking fourth in assists en route to the MAC West Division crown. Armato helped Anthony Maestranzi and Cory Sims become the No. 2 assist tandem in school history, with Sims' 133 being the second highest single-season total in school history. Maestranzi's 86 assists moved him into the NIU career top 10.
Prior to coming to Northern Illinois, Armato was the head coach at Rock Valley Junior College from 1988-2001, leading the Golden Eagles to a 219-135 (.619) record with three appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament. Rock Valley capped off its 2000-01 Tourney run by taking seventh place nationally with an overall record of 25-8. The Golden Eagles' seventh-place showing in the 2001 NJCAA Tournament earned Armato his first NJCAA Regional IV and NJCAA Division III, Section II Coach of the Year accolades, as well as IBCA NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year honor.
Inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1989, Armato made his coaching debut at his alma mater, Rockford Boylan High School. The following year he took over at Winnebago High School, leading the Indians to a 21-6 mark and a Mid-Northern Conference title. Armato completed his two-year run at WHS with a 33-18 mark before taking a job as an assistant at DeKalb High School in 1987. After one year as an assistant to Art Rohlman, Armato guided the Barbs to a 15-12 record during his only year as head coach before moving on to RVC.
A native of Rockford, Armato was a three-year letterwinner at Northern Illinois in the early 1980's. Playing alongside NIU Hall of Famers Tim Dillon and Allen Rayhorn, Armato became an NIU All-Century player as one of the top setup men in school history. One of the top assist men in the league his junior campaign with a 4.3 assists per game, Armato earned Honorable Mention All-MAC honors that year while scoring 8.1 points a game and grabbing 3.8 rebounds per game.
Armato is married to the former Shari Balzer of Rockford. The two have a pair of daughters and one son, four-year-old Abby, two-year-old, Anna and four-month-old Sam.