Belle Vernon girls basketball coach steps down

Monday, March 25, 2024 | 8:34 PM

Belle Vernon will be in the market for a new girls basketball coach in the coming weeks as the Belle Vernon Area School Board formally accepted the resignation of Kaitlyn Slagus at Monday’s voting meeting.

Over her four seasons coaching her alma mater, Slagus finished with an overall record of 49-39 with a section mark of 31-16.

While she said it was a difficult decision that she waffled over numerous times, she added that it was the right one for her at this time.

“It was a very tough decision. I contemplated it a lot over the past few weeks. I talked to Matt (Humbert) about it, and he was supportive of the decision. Honestly, a lot of it came down to personal stuff,” she said. “I have a few opportunities to expand my career. I’m planning my wedding, and I’m about to become an aunt with my sister Jessica pregnant. She’s in the process of moving back home to the area, too. It’s an exciting time in my life, and I just didn’t think the girls could get the attention they deserve as well.”

Slagus said she met with the team early last week in an emotional meeting but is proud of where the program stands.

“They were surprised,” Slagus said of the meeting. “I’m sure they felt uneasy with all the unknowns that come with a new coach.

“I talked to my parents about it. Just looking back at Christmas, for instance. I was working, scouting and breaking down film for the Cal U tournament. When I was a player in high school, we were practicing for a tournament. When I played at Bucknell, I was home for the holiday then immediately back on the road heading back to school for practice.

“Working at Southpointe and living in Canonsburg, there were some really long days.”

Slagus, who is marrying Avonworth girls basketball coach Nick Dizon, chuckled when asked about her plans for the upcoming fall and winter seasons.

“It’s funny because he asked me if I would help him and I said no,” she said with a laugh. “I mean, of course I’ll help him if he asked me to. But I’m not going to be his assistant. I’m not going to coach anywhere else. I’m planning on relaxing a little bit.”

Slagus said her career in financial advising at Baird Financial has given her the opportunity for advancement, something she wasn’t able to do when she was coaching.

“I do have opportunities in my career that I’d like to explore, so that’s another thing I’m looking forward to,” she added.

While she’s not planning on it any time soon, Slagus said she can likely get back into coaching when the time is right.

“I know a lot of people in a lot of programs,” she said. “I could get back into it. This isn’t a decision I took lightly and I’m looking forward to watching the girls next season, too.”

The girls are the biggest thing Slagus said she’s going to miss about not coaching in the near future. The Leopards were a young group with a few seniors. A lot of freshmen and sophomores got a lot of playing time and experience.

“As hard as it was being a few years older than them and as much as they may have driven me crazy at times, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world,” she said. “They kept me enjoying the game and being on the sideline. They’re the reason it was so hard to walk away. It’s going to be different sitting on the bleachers on the other side of the court, but I wish them nothing but the best of luck.

“Those young girls got a lot of good experience last season and it’s only going to help them in the future. There are some strong players coming into the program, too. I think they’re going to do well.”


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