Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s Rottmann wins No. 400 at alma mater

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Thursday, January 25, 2018 | 11:24 PM


When the final buzzer sounded signalling the end of the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls basketball team’s 47-33 victory over Freeport, the Trojanettes players surrounded coach Molly Rottmann in celebration.

Rottmann had just guided North Catholic to its 15th win of the season and milestone victory No. 400 as head coach of her alma mater.

The thing is, she didn’t know she was on the doorstep of 400.

“The girls did a really good job of keeping it a secret,” said Rottmann, who is in her 20th season at the helm of the Trojanettes.

“I knew I had 300 a couple of years ago, but I kind of lost track. It was a complete surprise.”

Rottmann’s father, Bill Larkin, also an assistant coach with her for her entire run at North Catholic, presented her with the game ball as an announcement of the accomplishment was read to the crowd.

“I am so proud to see her develop into the really good coach she is,” Larkin said. “It’s been great to share this with her. I offer my help whenever I can, but I know she’s the boss.”

Rottmann’s record at North Catholic now reads 400-126 with six WPIAL championships in 11 title-game appearances and the 2016 PIAA title. They Trojanettes won the WPIAL Class 4A title last season.

“Yes, it’s my 400th, but I’ve had so much help and support over the years, from a stable and hard-working coaching staff to so many talented players,” Rottmann said. “This is a reflection of all the players’ hard work, dedication and competitive spirit.”

The Trojanettes improved to 9-0 in section play and are rolling toward their 14th section title under Rottmann’s watch.

“Someone actually tweeted before the game that the win would be her 400th, so we asked them to delete it. But it wasn’t that hard to keep it a secret,” sophomore guard Tess Myers said. “We all love coach Rottmann. She’s like a second mother to us.”

Rottmann, a 2017 inductee into the Robert “Tick” Cloherty Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, knew what it was like to win gold at the high school level before she became the North Catholic head coach. She won three WPIAL titles and one state championship as a player with the Trojanettes.

Rottmann will go after No. 401 Saturday as North Catholic, No. 1 in the Tribune-Review’s WPIAL Class 4A rankings, hopes to stay undefeated in a nonsection game against Class 3A No. 1 Bishop Canevin (12-3) at the Bethel Park Classic.

“It’s awesome to coach this team every year,” she said. “I have four boys of my own, and it’s a busy life, but I absolutely love coaching and coming to practice each day. Who knows how many more years I have left, but I am having a lot of fun right now.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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