His resume lists several coaching positions at Class AAAA and AAA basketball programs, but George Vlassich has a soft spot for small-town teams.
That's how he ended up at Springdale.
The Allegheny Valley School District's board approved Vlassich, 66, as the varsity girls basketball coach during its meeting Monday night. Selected from among seven applicants, Vlassich won the position with a background that includes coaching experience at Hampton, Vincentian and North Hills.
“It's a totally different animal, Class AA and Class AAAA,” said Vlassich, who coached the 2003 Vincentian girls team that reached the WPIAL Class AA semifinals. “(Class) AA was a good fit for me. I love the smallness of everything.”
Vlassich replaces Dan Ross, who coached Springdale from 2011-13 and also led the program from 2006-08.
Much of Vlassich's coaching time was accrued at North Hills. He started his career in the early '90s at Hampton where he assisted the girls team for one season.
He spent two seasons as an assistant for the North Hills girls team. He moved to North Hills' boys coaching staff and spent five years as an assistant.
After one season at Vincentian, Vlassich was hired at North Hills and remained there for five seasons.
A retired math teacher who worked at Pittsburgh Public Schools, Vlassich considers himself in the twilight of his coaching days. He promises to dedicate his final few years to cultivating more of a basketball culture at a district he knows has a strong soccer presence.
“That's probably my toughest competition,” he said of soccer. “It's going to be tough to sell them on basketball. … You've got to find kids who want to buy into the program.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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