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Brookville coaching great receives Hall call

| Monday, March 30, 2009

A true measure of a coach is his impact on his community and former players.

For Tarentum native Al Lefevre, his impact on Brookville was reflected in the outpouring of sympathy when he died last Aug. 8 at 64.

"He was like a father figure to me," said William Kutz, who played on Lefevre's championship football teams at Brookville in the late 1960s and early '70s. "I learned a lot of things from him, like never quitting. I apply that to my everyday life."

"Through my years in education, everyone seems to have that one special teacher, and Al touched quite a few people," said Keith Wolfe, New Kensington native and Brookville High School principal.

Lefevre coached 34 years at Brookville, coaching football, basketball and golf. He guided the Brookville football team to a 23-game unbeaten streak and was named Coach of the Year in the Little 12 Conference in 1969 and '70, just a few years after his graduation from Clarion University.

He lettered three years in football and two in basketball at Tarentum High School. In 1960, he was first-string quarterback on the all-Valley Daily News team and made the all-WPIAL team. He quarterbacked Clarion for two years, but an injury his senior year gave him a head start in coaching.

Tarentum had winning football records in all three of his varsity seasons.

For Lefevre's accomplishments on the field and on the sidelines, he will be a posthumous inductee into the A-K Valley Sports Hall of Fame at the organization's 40th induction banquet May 9 at the Clarion Hotel in New Kensington.

"We lost the first two games of my sophomore year, then we didn't lose again until the last game of my senior year," Kutz said. "He was a fireball. When I got out of college, I got to coach with him as an assistant."

Lefevre remains Brookville's winningest football coach. As a golf coach, he won Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference (KSAC) titles in 1986, '87 and '97. He later coached golf at Clarion University, where his teams made the NCAA Division II playoffs seven consecutive years.

"Sometimes, he'd make you feel like you were an inch tall," Kutz said. "Next thing you knew, he'd make you feel like you're 30 feet tall."

Lefevre retired by the time Wolfe arrived at Brookville, but he remained popular.

"He was like the mayor; everybody around town seemed to know him," Wolfe said. "I would go to a (PIAA) District 9 banquet, and people would ask how Al's doing."

Additional Information:

A-K Valley Sports Hall of Fame banquet

7 p.m. May 9 · Clarion Hotel, New Kensington.

Tickets: Call Al Uskuraitis at 724-727-7259. Cost: $20. No tickets sold at the door.

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