Championship girls basketball coach Dori Oldaker steps down at Mt. Lebanon to take spot in South Fayette stands
Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | 10:53 PM
One of the top basketball coaches in the state is putting down her whiteboard and whistle and is preparing to be a fan.
Dori Oldaker announced on Wednesday she was stepping down as head coach of the Mt. Lebanon girls basketball team after 19 years and multiple championships.
Oldaker and her family live in the South Fayette school district, and she wants to watch her two daughters playing the game she loves so much. Taylor Oldaker will be a junior while sister Ryan will be a freshman at South Fayette.
“There was not an exact moment, but I had many conversations with my husband and I just took my time to make the final decision and I truly believe that I am making the right decision,” Oldaker said. “There are only two reasons why I walked away: Taylor and Ryan. I want to see them play sports and basketball in high school.”
Both Mt. Lebanon and South Fayette won WPIAL championships this past season, the Blue Devils in 6A and the Lions in 5A.
“I truly look forward to not only cheering on my two daughters, but all the players on the South Fayette team,” Oldaker said. “South Fayette had an amazing girls basketball season last year, so I am excited to see more games.”
Oldaker said having the success her Blue Devils team had this past season did make it easier from a timing perspective.
“Winning a WPIAL and runner-up at the state championship was tremendous in my final year of coaching,” she said. “I feel blessed that I was able to be a part of the Mt. Lebanon basketball family for 19 years. I love Lebo and I am so grateful to the Mt. Lebanon athletic department and administration, parents, players, past and present, coaches and the community. This was an extremely tough decision, but it’s the right one.”
One of those district administrators now tasked with filling those big coaching shoes agrees that Oldaker did the right thing.
“I’m sure she has been thinking about it for a while,” Mt. Lebanon athletic director John Grogan said. “Coaching at Mt. Lebanon and living in South Fayette, she chose family first. She gave the district everything she could. We are sorry to lose her, but I totally understand.”
Her coaching numbers are incredible. Oldaker’s overall record at Mt. Lebanon and Blackhawk is 495-139.
As coach of the Blue Devils, she was 390-121 overall with a section record of 193-37. She coached Mt. Lebanon to four WPIAL championships, three PIAA titles and two district and state runner-up seasons.
“Too many special moments,” Oldaker said. “It was never about the wins and losses. Although I hated losing, it was all about the relationships and friendships. I am going to miss the players and coaches terribly. No one is ever successful alone. Winning WPIAL and PIAA titles were so gratifying. Having former Lebo players return and coach on our staff like Emma Pellicano, Lauren Arbogast, Jaclyn (Babe) Delsardo and Madison Cable, Lebo means the world to me and my family.”
Grogan said while the wins and championships were great, there is a lot more than an impressive resume walking away from the Blue Devils program.
“As great of a coach she is, Dori is a better human being,” Grogan said. “She has been a tremendous role model and leader for the young women who came through our program.”
So now the question is, will Dori return to the sidelines someday or has she walked away for good?
“Not sure about coaching,” she said. “Never say never, but right now, it’s time for my family.”
Tags: Mt. lebanon
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