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South Hills

New Thomas Jefferson girls basketball coach hired

| Thursday, May 10, 2018, 12:09 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson High School in the West Jefferson Hills School District.
Thomas Jefferson High School in the West Jefferson Hills School District.

An experienced coach will return to Thomas Jefferson High School to coach varsity girls basketball team in 2018-19.

School board members at a special meeting May 8 approved the appointment of Lisa Fairman as the girls' varsity basketball coach. Board members approved the hiring, 7-0. It was the meeting's only agenda item.

Fairman comes to Thomas Jefferson after seven years as the varsity head coach at Belle Vernon, athletic director Bill Cherpak said.

“We're just excited to have her,” he said.

The position was opened in April, after George Vlassich — who coached the team for two seasons — retired.

In 2017-18 the Thomas Jefferson team made it to the second round of the PIAA class 5A playoffs.

“We're going to be good,” Cherpak said of the team next year.

There were 12 applicants for the coaching post. Interviews were conducted for two weeks in April.

Fairman stood out because of “her excellent background and experience,” Cherpak said.

According to the Washington & Jefferson website, Fairman served as a volunteer assistant coach for the school's women's basketball team in 2017-18. Her bio also lists that prior to coaching in Belle Vernon, she spent two seasons as the assistant coach for the Elizabeth Forward girls' basketball team.

Her coaching career began in 1992, when she was the junior varsity/intermediate basketball coach at Thomas Jefferson. She moved up to the varsity staff in 2002, where she spent two seasons, according to her bio.

While the 2018-19 season doesn't start until the winter, spring and summer leagues are getting underway now. So, it was important to have a coach on board now, Cherpak said.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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