I just wanted to express my appreciation to the many people who have made the past three years so satisfying and enjoyable for me as I coached the girls varsity basketball team at Hollidaysburg Area High School.
In an era when many coaches endure the frustrations of coaching undisciplined players and continually are barraged by parents and fans with unrealistic expectations, I truly lucked out.
The 20 young ladies that comprised the 2010 Lady Tigers were eager to learn, handled criticism well and were a pleasure to associate with in even the most difficult situations. I have nothing but the highest regard for them and will miss them tremendously.
I am not foolish enough to believe that the parents of my players agreed with every strategic move I made, but they understood the challenges that coaches face in keeping every player engaged in the team concept, and they were extremely supportive.
The number of parents who have contacted me since my resignation to thank me for helping their daughters to grow from the overall basketball experience has been overwhelming, particularly since not all those players enjoyed significant playing time.
I particularly want to thank the Hollidaysburg Area High School administration for providing the environment for me to operate a successful basketball program. Superintendent Paul Gallagher and principals Linda McCall and Ed Barton have been strong advocates of the program and their support has made things much easier.
Lastly, I want to especially thank Athletic Director Dean Rossi. I worked with Dean during my last coaching stint in the late 1980s and early '90s and his guidance and regard for the reputation of the girls basketball program is unsurpassed anywhere.
I would have not applied to return to coach at Hollidaysburg three years ago had Dean Rossi not been there.
The next few months will be difficult as I transition out of the coaching ranks back to "spectator."
But thanks to some great people, I will never forget the remarkable experience provided by the Hollidaysburg sports community.
More of the same
Six out of 13 years Penn State men's basketball has been in the Big Ten cellar.
Northwestern has been promoted. Now it will be between the Lions, the Hawkeyes, the Hoosiers and maybe the Wolverines. I turn my head in disgust when of the current players say they are looking forward to next year as they will turn things around. It is nothing but talk: Prove it on the court!
There is very little interest or support as the pep band could only find 30 performers to travel to Conseco Field House and sacrifice their spring break. Some had to switch their primary instrument to a second one to balance instrumentation.
I hope wrestling, volleyball, fencing and men's gymnasts can bring some pride back to Happy Valley as it is so bleak right now.
Les Hart, Duncansville