Bethel Park assistant AD headed to WPIAL Hall of Fame for storied Serra Catholic basketball career

Saturday, March 25, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Laura Grimm is a relatively new face in the Bethel Park athletic department.

She was hired as assistant athletic director in September 2021 and is serving in that capacity this school year as well.

Grimm, however, is a well-known figure on the Serra Catholic campus as well as around the WPIAL basketball scene.

A 2006 Serra Catholic graduate, Grimm compiled career marks of 1,940 points, 497 assists, 391 steals and 283 3-pointers in her varsity career, leading the girls basketball team to an incredible 103-12 record in her four seasons at the school.

Thanks to her outstanding basketball prowess, Grimm will be inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame this spring as part of the 2023 class.

The list of WPIAL Hall of Fame inductees was revealed Jan. 18 in a news conference at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum inside the Heinz History Center. The induction banquet is June 2 at the DoubleTree in Green Tree.

“Being selected is a tremendous honor and incredibly humbling experience,” Grimm, 34, said. “Reflecting on my career, I always wanted to be associated with a memorable legacy and to some extent, this induction is validation that my teammates and I were able to accomplish that.

“When you look back at the other members of the WPIAL Hall of Fame in previous classes, it is surreal to imagine being included with some of the all-time greats. It’s an incredibly humbling honor to be included in this group with so many WPIAL legends.”

During Grimm’s (illustrious) career, Serra Catholic made four consecutive appearances in the WPIAL finals, winning titles in 2003 and 2005. The Eagles, behind a starting five of G/F Brittany Matta, F Nicole Kinkaid, F Staci Menzies, G Bria Gwosden and Grimm, also won the 2005 PIAA championship.

Kinkaid was one of only two seniors on the 2005 squad.

A 5-foot-6 sharpshooting southpaw guard, Grimm was named AP Pennsylvania Player of the Year in 2005. She also received back-to-back player of the year accolades in 2006 from the Tribune-Review and was named first-team all-state in 2005 and 2006.

Grimm, who grew up in Squirrel Hill, enjoyed every minute of her high school career.

“My most memorable team accomplishments would be making it to the WPIAL finals four straight years and winning twice,” Grimm said, “and obviously the state championship in 2005 means more than I can put into words. In four years, we only lost 12 games, and I can still rattle them off right now if you asked. It was by far the most fun that I have had athletically in my life.

“Individually, the milestone memories stick out, starting my first game ever as a freshman and scoring a game-high 32 points, hitting 1,000 points my junior year, and then breaking the career scoring record (held by Jody Sabo) as a senior was also unforgettable.”

Grimm played collegiately at Colgate although her playing time was limited severly because of injuries.

“My college career was more or less derailed by injury,” she said. “I actually tore my ACL a few weeks after (high school) graduation while playing in a summer league. I ended up redshirting my freshman year. Sophomore year, I started a handful of games before a season-ending shoulder injury. After subsequent surgeries my junior year due to complications, I received a medical waiver and didn’t play my senior year. My body just kind of fell apart after a while.

“For me, the best part about college basketball was all the amazing experiences — the team trips, the different venues, the memories with teammates, things that will last a lifetime. My fondest team memories include playing at UConn my freshman year and then upsetting No. 1 seed Bucknell in the Patriot League tournament. Individually, I hit a corner 3-pointer at Binghamton to score my first collegiate points and I’ll never forget that feeling running back down the court.”

Following college, Grimm embarked on a short-lived coaching career at the high school and AAU levels.

“I think that really made me realize that despite majoring in political science, with the hopes of going to law school, I wanted to stay involved in athletics,” she said. “I went back to school (at Cal (Pa.)), got my master’s in sports management, graduated in 2013 and have been working (in athletics) ever since.

“I began working at Bethel Park in 2021. I feel very fortunate to have landed in such a great school district. I believe the quality of the athletes, coaches and facilities here at Bethel are second to none. We truly have a ‘winning team’ here, and the support for athletics from the top down is unmatched anywhere else I’ve been.”

Grimm’s basketball career actually began at a young age when she was in kindergarten.

“I remember going to instructional basketball clinics on Saturday mornings,” she said. “I was still playing in a women’s league with my wife and a handful of friends but haven’t got back into it since the pregnancy.

“This past summer, my wife Nicole and I were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Kyren. She will turn 1 on June 14 and is the absolute light of our lives. We reside here in Bethel with our two rescue pups, Chance and Charlee.”

Grimm is especially thankful to be joined in this honor by Bill Cleary, her former coach and athletic director at Serra Catholic, who also was a 2023 WPIAL Hall of Fame inductee.

“Bill meant so much to my development as a player, and he has continued to mentor me in my career as an athletic administrator,” she said. “We are going to be inducted together. Very cool.

“I cannot tell you how much pride it gives me to receive this honor and share it with someone I hold so dear to my heart.”


More High School Other

5 athletes, coach, cross country team to join Gateway Sports Hall of Fame in class of 2023
High school sports scores, schedules for May 27, 2023
Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Streak of teams reaching WPIAL finals continues
Westmoreland H.S. athletes of the week: Belle Vernon’s Maren Metikosh, Latrobe’s Logan Bradish
Pine-Richland notebook: Rams collect WPIAL track medals