Speck won, handled
himself with class
The overwhelming tragic news of Southern Huntingdon’s Phil Speck’s passing last week and subsequent Mirror article “Southern’s coach fondly remembered” featured four area coaches’ perspectives.
I felt compelled to offer my own.
As a longtime basketball official, I knew Speck from his team (Community State Bank) participating in the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA Women’s Summer League.
He was a very knowledgeable coach/athletic director, and his teams were always prepared to play. He was also humble, making sure his players were the focus of any publicity of his teams.
Despite having to make the long, arduous trek (102 miles round trip) three times per week from Three Springs to Hollidaysburg, never once did SH/Community State Bank ever forfeit one summer league game in over 23 years of competition.
What was also very important to note about Speck is he was not boastful. As successful as he was (412-125 with five Juniata Valley League titles and two PIAA District 6 Class 2A championships), one would have to hear about it from someone else.
What an example he was for the rest of the younger coaches across District 6.
I remain convinced that Speck’s lasting legacy included teaching young women to play as a team, a team which didn’t make excuses with daily lessons and to do their very best in the hopes of molding them for the game of life.
Coach Phil Speck will long be remembered for his great mind and basketball acumen.
He was a true ambassador for the game, and I shall never forget the civility he demonstrated game in and game out.
(The writer is also the PIAA’s District 6 female officials representative.)