Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kenneth J. Misiak Nov. 6, 1936 - Jan. 8, 2018 Winningest Basketball Coach at Geibel Catholic

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kenneth J. Misiak Nov. 6, 1936 - Jan. 8, 2018 Winningest Basketball Coach at Geibel Catholic

Article excerpt

If a peanut butter and banana sandwich weighs a pound, then Ken Misiak put away a half-ton of them during his coaching career.

Mr. Misiak coached high school basketball a lot. Won a lot. And ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches a lot- it was his go-to pregame meal for good luck.

He coached boys basketball for 49 seasons from 1969-2008, including 45 at Geibel Catholic High School, a small parochial school in Connellsville. All told, he was on the bench for 1,096 games, which meant a lot of those sandwiches.

Mr. Misiak, the second-winningest coach in the history of WPIAL boys basketball, died Jan. 8 at Uniontown Hospital after battling cancer for five years. Mr. Misiak, a Uniontown resident, was 81.

"Doctors called him a miracle because he shouldn't have been around this long," said Barbara Misiak, his wife of 58 years. "But he lasted so long because of his attitude and because he was so positive."

Mr. Misiak was positively a legend in WPIAL basketball when you consider his longevity and success. He coached Immaculate Conception for four seasons before becoming Geibel's coach when the school opened in 1963. His all-time record was 730-366, and in 2004 he became only the fifth coach in Pennsylvania boys basketball history to win 700 games.

Mr. Misiak built Geibel into a small-school powerhouse. Geibel joined the WPIAL in the mid-1970s, and Mr. Misiak guided the Gators to the WPIAL playoffs 28 times and won 15 section titles.

He won WPIAL titles in 1978 and 1980, and his 1978 team lives on in WPIAL lore. That year, the Gators also won a PIAA title and finished the season with a 26-0 record. To this day, Geibel is one of only 12 teams in WPIAL boys basketball history to win a state championship with a perfect record.

Geibel won the PIAA title with a 66-53 victory against Darby Township at Hersheypark Arena. …

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