Veteran basketball coach assumes reins at Geibel
Bill Hughes has achieved his goal.
Since coaching in the Monessen Midget Basketball League years ago, he got a bug for coaching basketball.
He later coached the middle-school team at Charleroi and freshmen at Charleroi and Belle Vernon.
The last two seasons, he served as the top assistant for Belle Vernon boys coach Eric James.
Along the way, he dreamed of running his own varsity program.
Hughes finally got his opportunity: He is the new boys basketball coach at Geibel.
“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 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 out Hughes and gauged 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 has two 11-11 campaigns since.
“I'm going to have a young team,” Hughes said. “They started all seniors last season and had a tough year.”
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,” Hughes 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 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 weightlifting program for the players.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.