Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Back to the Future after 5-Year 'Retirement,' Faust Returns to Lead Wash High Program

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Back to the Future after 5-Year 'Retirement,' Faust Returns to Lead Wash High Program

Article excerpt

When Joe Nicolella began searching for a new basketball coach to take over Washington High School's boys program, it didn't take long before he reached out to an old friend.

Nicolella, the school's athletic director, called Ron Faust and tried to lure the former coach back to the basketball court.

"When Mark Gaither told me he was stepping down, I thought about it for a little bit and then thought: 'How about Ron?' " Nicolella said. "When we went through the logistics of him returning, we didn't hesitate to have him come back."

Faust was five years into his retirement after nearly 30 years as the Little Prexies boys basketball coach. But he was intrigued by Nicolella's offer.

"After I retired, I honestly didn't have any intentions of getting back into coaching," said Faust, who taught high school English and served as the school's athletic director before retiring in 2009. "When the opportunity was presented and my wife [Connie] heard about the idea, she encouraged me to come back.

"We had a long winter last year, so I was excited about getting out of the house more."

One of the WPIAL's most successful basketball coaches, Faust was hired in March after Gaither resigned because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Under Gaither, Washington posted a 76-42 record in five seasons and made the WPIAL playoffs four times.

Faust, 62, coached Washington from 1981-2009 and compiled a 520- 192 record. In his 28-year career, he led the Prexies to two PIAA Class AA championships and four WPIAL titles, including three in a row in 1984-86. His teams also won 52 consecutive games between 1984 and 1985.

"Anyone who coached for close to 30 years wouldn't be truthful if they said they didn't miss coaching," Faust said. "When you live that type of lifestyle for so many years, you miss coaching and the competition."

Faust also is a former player and 1969 graduate of Washington.

"Ron is a Wash High guy," said Nicolella, who spent 20 years as Faust's assistant coach and will return this season as a volunteer assistant. "He knows the people and the community. …

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