High School Coach
Dave Danko has played, coached and worked at Fairfield Warde High School — formerly known as Andrew Warde High School and Fairfield High School— since his arrival as a freshman in 1982. He is now nearing 500 career wins as the head coach of the Fairfield Warde girls’ basketball team, recently completing his 30th season.
Prior to the 2023-24 season, Danko’s teams had appeared in six Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championships, winning three times, and were state runners-up in the CIAC state tournament three times. Danko has led his teams to state tournament appearances in 30 consecutive seasons and the Mustangs are four-time recipients of the Swaffield Award for sportsmanship.
“Basketball is the main fabric in my life. Nothing’s more rewarding than to have student-athletes compete for a common goal and become successful people in life,” said Danko, who then listed his personal goals in basketball. “(I want to) continue with the same compassion and integrity, for my school and the town of Fairfield, to promote a healthy desire to compete in life through education and basketball.”
Danko, a four-year varsity player and captain at Andrew Warde, earning first team FCIAC East and all-state honorable mention honors in 1986, went on to play for the men’s basketball team at Southern Connecticut State University.
As head coach at Fairfield Warde, Danko has been honored by the Connecticut Post as its coach of the year five times. In 1998, he was a nominee for Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association National Coach of the Year and in 2010 he was the CIAC Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year. For the past 10 years, he has served on the all-state committee for the Connecticut High School Coaches’ Association and he is a voter in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll. He is a 2023 inductee into the FCIAC Hall of Fame.
Danko will be presented as a member of the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame by his assistant coach Steve McGillicuddy, who continued to serve as an assistant even after the graduation of his daughter. “I have known Steve since I was 8 years old,” Danko said before adding with a smile. “He truly has a great commitment to my program and keeping me in the right.”
Danko is the co-owner and founder of Connecticut Premier, an AAU girls’ basketball program, having coached at the AAU level since 1994 and proudly traveling the country to meet “many wonderful people, players and coaches.” His dad, whom he calls his hero, first introduced him to basketball in the late 1970s and early 1980s by bringing him along to games at Fairfield University.
A resident of Fairfield, Danko is the owner of Danko Painting and Power Washing. He enjoys spending his down time with rescue dogs Homer, Buster, Elsie, Kelsey and Chloe. He would like to thank the FCIAC coaches and state coaches who have helped him along the way.