Derry coach Gene Brisbane hits 400-win milestone

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Thursday, January 13, 2022 | 10:48 PM


Derry girls basketball coach Gene Brisbane reached a career milestone Thursday night in the Trojans’ 44-41 victory at Burrell.

He now has 400 career wins in 26 years of coaching female teams in basketball — 350 at the high school level.

Brisbane, in his third season at Derry, coached the Hempfield girls for 20 years and won 327 games.

He had 50 wins as the head women’s coach at Westmoreland County Community College.

“I told the girls on the bus tonight I can vividly remember my first win at Hempfield,” said Brisbane, 69. “It was in 1990 and we beat Gateway. I’ll never forget that and I’ll never forget tonight’s game. It was another barnburner, and it was a big win for us.”

Derry senior guard Tiana Moracco scored 28 points, pulling her to within three points of 1,000 for her career.

The Trojans are a unique story because they are now 6-5 overall and 3-3 in Section 1-4A while playing with just eight girls.

“Our girls are really battling and playing hard,” Brisbane said. “It’s nice to see us get a win like that.”

Brisbane, who has 23 wins at Derry, led Hempfield to five section titles and three WPIAL 4A semifinal trips. He now has Derry in position to make a run at the postseason.

“This is my 26th year and the thing I think I am most proud of is that it averages out to 16 wins a season,” he said. “If you coach long enough, you’ll get to 400 wins. But that’s if you win like 10 games a year. I have coached a lot of great players. This means a lot to me.”

He began coaching in 1974 as an assistant to Tom Traynor with the Hempfield boys.

Brisbane, a retired teacher, also coached the Greensburg Salem and Jeannette boys. He also coached track and field at Seton Hill.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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