Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trinity hires Miles as girls basketball coach

A flurry of high school football coaching hires drew the ire of local fan bases, but the rumblings at Trinity considering the girls basketball program have quieted since the hiring of Bob Miles as head coach.

As far as hires go, it's difficult to find a better one.

A teacher at Trinity for more than two decades, Miles spent the past 15 years as head coach at Fort Cherry. He took a program with little tradition or success and molded into an annual playoff contender. In recent years, Fort Cherry was a Class A powerhouse and Miles was awarded the 2011 PIAA Class A Girls Coach of the Year for his work. He's also a three-time winner of the Tri-CADA Girls Basketball Coach of the Year Award.

Miles guided a group which included Beka Bellhy, Carolena Gasbarro and Jessie Merckle to the 2011 WPIAL Class A championship game, and the PIAA quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons. Fort Cherry stood toe-to-toe with private schools, though three of Fort Cherry last five losses came against North Catholic.

Fort Cherry won 49 games the past two seasons. Miles won 237 games in 15 years, and, as his teams improved over time, the Rangers drew praise from opposing coaches and even college coaches for their style of play. Fort Cherry played disciplined, unselfish and physical basketball.

Basically, the Fort Cherry girls played like a well-coached boys team.

Miles is charged with the task of building Trinity back into a consistent winner. Jackie Kotchman, one of the all-time great players in Hillers' girls basketball history, coached Trinity the past three years and the Hillers did qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs in 2012, albeit with a losing record.

Miles, who was given a three-year contract, is a proven winner, but establishing a solid program at Trinity won't be instant. Still, the Hillers made the right choice, and the obvious one.

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