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Hughes new Geibel basketball coach

| Thursday, March 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ever since he coached in the Monessen Midget Basketball League system years ago, Bill Hughes has had a bug for coaching basketball.

He later coached the middle school team at Charleroi and freshmen at both Charleroi and Belle Vernon Area. The last two seasons, he served as the top assistant for boys' coach Eric James at BVA.

Along the way, he dreamed of one day running his own varsity program.

He has achieved his goal.

Hughes is the new boys' basketball coach at Geibel Catholic in Connellsville.

“I'm really excited,” said Hughes, who is a school counselor for Intermediate Unit 1 and works out of Geibel at least two days a week. “As a coach, I always wanted to do this, to have my own program. I'm in the school and see the kids and I think this is a good place to be.”

He knows the task ahead won't be easy.

Hughes, 36, takes over a Gators squad that is coming off a 3-16 season under former coach Ed Kroupa, who resigned at season's end.

Geibel Athletic Director Shawn Holup said that when Kroupa resigned, school administrators sought Hughes for his interest.

“We think he will build a nice foundation for the program and will do a fine job down the line,” Holup said. “We have a young team and he relates to the kids really well and that's important.”

Geibel hasn't had a winning season since going 13-7 in 2005-06, although the team did have two 11-11 campaigns since.

“I'm going to have a young team,” he said. “They started all seniors last season and had a tough year, winning just three games.”

He has been working with the team in practice and is getting his feet wet as a varsity coach with the Gators in the Laurel Highlands Undergraduate Tournament.

“All of my players are juniors and sophomores and freshmen who are moving up,” he said. “One thing I like is I can put this team together and some of the kids will be around for a while.

“The team is so young, but they want to learn. It should be interesting.”

Hughes said he has not yet picked an assistant, but he has contacted some candidates and expects to make a decision soon.

He also said he is going to get an open gym program running as well as a weight lifting program for the players.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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