Former Kiski Area coach Chuck Tursky to get Ferrante award

Saturday, May 22, 2021 | 7:10 PM

Chuck Tursky dedicated his life to helping high school students and athletes.

It’s something he learned from his high school coaches — football coach Chuck Wagner and wrestling coach Randy Taylor — at Riverview.

“They did a lot for me,” Tursky said. “It’s my time to pay it forward.”

Tursky coached wrestling at Burrell and Kiski Area for 41 years and also coached football for 23 years.

At the 65th annual Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete banquet Tuesday at Ferrante’s Lakeview Lounge, Tursky will receive the John and Michael Ferrante Memorial Award for his contributions and promotion of high school athletics.

He — along with 36 high school athletes, two each from the 18 high schools in the county — will be honored. The banquet will hosted by Judge John J. Driscoll and sponsored by Excela Health, Drs. Geoff and Greg Bisignani and Ferrante’s Lakeview Lounge.

Tursky is the all-time winningest WPIAL wrestling coach with a 505-143-2 record and two WPIAL titles.

He has been inducted in six Hall of Fames: the WPIAL, PIAA and Slippery Rock halls of fame, Kiski Area Sports Hall of Fame, Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The 2003 Kiski Area team was PIAA runner-up.

“I’m very proud to be honored,” Tursky said, “I’m thankful and humbled.”

Because of covid-19, Tursky wasn’t on the bench this winter. He spent his time in Florida fishing.

“I still stayed close when I could,” Tursky said. “I’d watch the action when I could.”

Tursky was like a father figure to many of his wrestlers.

If the weather got too bad, he jumped in his four-wheel-drive truck and went around picking them up for practice.

“They’d be sitting on each others’ laps,” Tursky said. “I probably couldn’t get away with that now.”

Don’t expect Tursky to be on the bench next season. He enjoyed his time away and plans to watch from the stands.

But he loved coaching and loved helping wrestlers become men.

Hempfield track coach Ron Colland, the 2020 winner, also will be honored at the banquet. Colland was unable to attend last July’s event because of covid-19 concerns. He lives in Arizona in the winter.

The area athletic directors looked at the 36 resumes and voted on the 12 finalists and eventually the two winners for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Award. The 2020 winners were Hempfield’s Olivia Persin and Norwin’s Kurtis Phipps.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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