Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steel Valley Coach Adapts on the Run Goga Leads Ironmen to Wpial Playoff Bid

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steel Valley Coach Adapts on the Run Goga Leads Ironmen to Wpial Playoff Bid

Article excerpt

There's no truth to the rumor that Gary Goga has given up basketball coaching to become a volleyball coach.

"Basketball is still my favorite sport," said Goga, who has been head boys basketball coach at Peters Township the past six years. "I've enjoyed coaching volleyball for a season, but this will most likely be my swan song."

Goga, a 12th grade English teacher at Steel Valley High School, made his volleyball coaching debut this fall ... quite unexpectedly.

"I was having a small party for some of the teachers before we started the school year and I called [Steel Valley athletic director] Shawn McCallister to invite him," Goga said. "He called me later that night and told me of a problem he had."

Erik Jabs, Steel Valley's boys and girls volleyball coach, had stepped down unexpectedly one week before the season.

"Erik decided to spend more time with his family," Goga said. "Erik had done an excellent job with the program, but his decision to step down one week before the season started was surprising to say the least."

McCallister asked Goga to coach the Steel Valley girls team for the 2011 season. Goga accepted the job despite having no previous experience with volleyball.

"I had a casual knowledge of volleyball," Goga said. "I took a crash course trying to learn as much as I could. I met with the girls and explained the situation. I told them that we would have to help each other along the way. Fortunately, I have a good group of kids. They have been very receptive to the situation."

Goga was also fortunate to have Julie Miller, last year's assistant coach, return to the team.

"Julie is one of the teachers who got laid off [due to cutbacks in the state budget]," Goga said. "It was great that she came back to help coach the girls. She is familiar with all the girls, which made my job a lot easier."

Coincidentally, Goga had actually coached a few of the players previously. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.