McKeesport basketball coach Gadson resigns
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“It was just that time.”
And with that, McKeesport is in the market for a boys basketball coach for only the second time in nearly a quarter century.
Corey Gadson handed in his resignation Wednesday, ending one of the most successful stints in the near 100-year existence of the McKeesport basketball program.
Gadson won 175 games, including 17 in the postseason. He won four section titles, had four 20-win seasons and was the Class AAAA runner-up once in his 11 years at McKeesport.
“You get to the point where you aren't looking forward to the spring workouts or the summer and everything you have to prepare for the next season,” said Gadson, a 1973 Clairton graduate. “When that happens, you know then that it is time. In my mind, I just had to let it go.”
Gadson leaves McKeesport as the school's third all-time winningest coach behind Neenie Campbell (398) and Dan Pacella (330).
“I had some wonderful times at McKeesport,” Gadson said. “Just being accepted into the Tiger family was nice for me.”
Gadson coached the better part of the past three decades at Clairton girls, CCAC-South, East Allegheny and Clairton boys and had a rather non-descript career until replacing Dan Pacella at McKeesport in 2003.
Pacella coached 20 years and won a pair of WPIAL titles before giving way to Gadson after a couple down years.
Before Gadson arrived, McKeesport had back-to-back 18-loss seasons, four straight losing seasons and hadn't won a playoff game since 1999. With Gadson, McKeesport missed the playoffs twice in 11 seasons and never finished below .500.
“We weren't very relevant in the years before he came,” McKeesport athletic director Charley Kiss said. “In his time as head coach, not only did the program become relevant again, but they were viewed as a contender in most years.”
Gadson took over a 5-18 team (winless in the section) in 2003 and instantly made the Tigers contenders.
McKeesport went 18-8 and won a WPIAL and state playoff game in Gadson's first year that would set a foundation of things to come.
The Tigers put together back-to-back 22-win seasons and came within a quarter of winning their first WPIAL title since 1995 when it dropped a 56-46 decision to Mt. Lebanon in the 2006 Quad-A championship game.
“We had some really good teams and really nice players come through here,” Gadson said. “That 2006 team was a special group. There were a few of them but that was definitely one of them.”
The Tigers haven't enjoyed as much success recently with two 11-11 seasons in the past three, but Gadson said that didn't have anything to do with his decision to step aside.
“It wasn't a rash decision,” Gadson said. “I just knew it was time. I haven't given much thought of what I am going to do now. I might go see some Pitt games or go down and watch Duquesne. I am sure my wife will be happy around the holidays.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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