Hempfield brings back wrestling coach Vince DeAugustine

Monday, September 21, 2020 | 12:20 AM

Hempfield Area School District board hired a familiar face to coach its wrestling team at Monday’s meeting.

By a vote of 7-0, the board hired board member Vince DeAugustine as its coach. DeAugustine did not vote on the motion.

DeAugustine coached at Norwin the past two seasons, where he helped coach Kurtis Phipps to the school’s first individual state title in 2020. He will not be paid for the job.

“I can’t thank Norwin enough for the opportunity, support and memories they provided me the past two seasons,” DeAugustine said. “It’s always difficult to leave kids that you develop a relationship with, but serving on the school board at Hempfield and coaching at Norwin proved to be a conflict that I didn’t anticipate.

“With that being said, I am excited to get back to work at my alma mater and at a place that provided me with so many wonderful memories. I look forward to creating champions on and off the mat like we used to do.”

On not being paid, DeAugustine said: “You can’t put a monetary value on the memories and friendships I have experienced in the sport of wrestling. I wouldn’t trade them for anything and of it means coaching for free, I am all for it.”

DeAugustine coached at Hempfield for 13 seasons where he compiled a 218-53 record. His career record is 251-61. He was 33-8 at Norwin. He will replace Tom Dolde, who was resigned as head coach after his 300th coaching victory and interim replacement Mike Kirkling, who coached the Spartans during the postseason.

“I believe Coach’s resume certainly speaks for itself,” said Hempfield athletic director Brandon Rapp, who hired DeAugustine away from Hempfield when he was at Norwin. “He is an outstanding coach. But more important, he is a great leader for student-athletes.

“The Hempfield Area community is fortunate to have him back and I am excited for what the future holds.”

Hempfield returns state champion Ethan Berginc, PIAA heavyweight runner-up Isaiah Vance and PIAA fifth-place finisher Ty Linsenbigler. Others returning include Briar Priest, Nolan Daerr, Lucas Kapusta, Ethan Lebin, Derek Choby, Daniel Beck, Alex Urbani, and Coby Stepanik.

DeAugustine was a two-time PIAA champion and a three-time WPIAL Class AAA champion with a 135-18 career record. He won state titles in 1996 and 1997 and placed second in 1994.

During his time at Hempfield, his team was WPIAL Class AAA champion in 2007. He coached six state champions and 12 WPIAL champions.

His state champions were Steve Santia, Luke Kemerer, Sam Krivus and Jared Verkleeren. Kemerer and Krivus were two-time champions.

Santia was his first state champion in 2007. Kemerer won in 2007 and 2008, Krivus in 2013 and 2015, and Verkleeren in 2017.

Phipps became his 13th WPIAL champion in 2019 and seventh state champion. Norwin had three Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association winners — Phipps, John Altieri and Ryan Weinzen — in the same year for the first time since 1975.

The board also hired Bill Swan as boys basketball coach, Tom Brush as girls basketball coach, Kevin Clougherty as swimming coach, James Wilkinson as rifle coach and Dave Murray, Melissa White, Larry Williams and LaRoyal Wilson as indoor track coaches. They will also hire numerous assistant coaches in all sports except for wrestling.

DeAugustine said he is working on his staff.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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