Thomas Jefferson hires Shar as girls basketball coach
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For former West Mifflin girls basketball coach Phil Shar, there was nothing profound with his decision to get back into coaching.
There was no agenda of trying to show up the school that ousted him three times in a matter of 21 months — including twice in a span of 10 days — or wanting two wins to reach the elusive 400-win mark.
For Shar, the reasoning was simple.
“I don't think it is a secret that I really enjoy coaching,” Shar said. “You can say these past couple years that I was kind of bored. Actually, I was a lot bored.”
Shar's schedule just got busy.
Shar was hired by neighboring rival Thomas Jefferson at Tuesday's West Jefferson Hills school board meeting by a 9-0 vote.
Shar, who has a 398-160 record in 20 years, takes over for interim coach Dom DiMattia, who led the Jaguars to a 9-13 record a year ago.
Shar is excited to be back on the bench.
“Going to the gym is one of my favorite pastimes,” said Shar, a retired West Mifflin math teacher and current WMASD school board member. “People enjoy golfing, I enjoy going to the gym. When I got fired and had to sit, I then realized how much I missed coaching and how much I wanted to coach again.”
Shar endured a whirlwind 21-month span from June 2009 to March 2011 that saw him get fired three times and rehired twice.
Shar was first removed at West Mifflin in 2009, only months after his 19th season. He had led the Titans to a 20-8 record and a trip to the WPIAL Class AAA title game for the fifth time.
After a year off, he returned to West Mifflin and guided them to a 17-7 record and a first-round playoff win before being removed again — this time for good.
Shar isn't interested in rehashing the past.
“That's something I don't even want to talk about anymore,” Shar said. “I am happy to be back coaching, and I am really excited about getting back into it.”
Shar had been interested in getting back into coaching for a while, but the job that interested him had to meet his criteria.
“It needed to be within a 30-minute drive and TJ is a 10-minute drive for me, and I wanted to coach Triple-A or Quad-A,” Shar said. “TJ fits everything that I need.”
Now, Shar has to find a way bring his winning ways to Thomas Jefferson.
The Jaguars won back-to-back section titles in 2009-10 but have fallen on hard times, winning only 12 of 44 games over the past two seasons. Shar had only one losing season in his 20 years at West Mifflin.
“All I can tell you is at TJ, we are going to work hard,” said Shar, who has been running TJ's summer league team the past couple of weeks. “That's the same formula I used at West Mifflin: work hard and get better. The girls have been great over there. Our intangibles — and I am a big intangible guy — are off the chart.”
Shar will inherit most of last year's 9-13 team that missed the playoffs, including rising senior guard Alexis Yanief, a two-time Fabulous 15 member.
Yanief, a three-year letterman, led the Jags in scoring, assists, steals and blocks last year. TJ returns its entire roster except for two graduating seniors.
“These girls show up, they work hard, they smile, they do everything that I ask of them and the intensity has been great,” Shar said. “I am really pleased.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Area basketball teams embrace opportunities to play for championships
- High school basketball notebook: Playoff picture comes into focus
- Gorman: Two good friends coach for milestone win
- Trib Cup: Baldwin girls basketball team stands by motto
- Connellsville girls fall short against Penn-Trafford
- Blairville fueled by last season’s disappointment
- Sporio leads EF past Ringgold, 48-41
- HS highlight reel: Clairton hopes to use incident, sanctions as learning experience
- Underclassmen standouts help Sewickley Academy
- High school roundup: Late free throws lead Peters Township past West Allegheny
- Daily News roundup: PIAA approves punishment for Clairton football