Leechburg alum Andrew McDermott takes over as boys basketball coach at alma mater
Friday, June 30, 2023 | 6:21 PM
Andrew McDermott has had plenty of coaching influences in his life.
His grandfathers, Joe Boario and Bob McDermott, coached together at Leechburg, and Andrew McDermott played basketball for the Blue Devils under Damian Davies before being his assistant for three years.
Now it’s his turn to take the reins.
McDermott, a 2012 Leechburg grad, is the new boys basketball coach at his alma mater.
The hiring was made official by the Leechburg school board Wednesday.
“I’m very excited,” McDermott said. “The continuity of already knowing the players and being familiar with the area and the community helps a lot. Graduating from Leechburg and now being the head coach is a great feeling.”
McDermott takes over for Davies, who stepped down after four years into a second stint with the program and 18 years total. He guided the Blue Devils to a WPIAL Class A title in 2007.
Spending time as an assistant to Davies helped prepare McDermott to become a head coach.
“Playing for Coach Davies and being able to coach and be around the staff and the team, I learned a lot,” McDermott said. “Dave Lovelace and he were the head guys there, and they taught me a lot. It’s exciting for me to take over, but (Davies) has been there a long time, so it’ll be a little weird not seeing him on the bench. It’s almost like a new chapter for Leechburg basketball.”
After graduation from Leechburg, McDermott attended Clarion, where he earned a degree in strategic communication.
Family and basketball have been big influences in McDermott’s life. Along with his grandfathers being coaches, his dad coached at the youth level, and Andrew McDermott played basketball with his two brothers, Ryan and Connor.
Ryan will be one of his assistants.
Andrew McDermott also had the opportunity to coach his cousin, Owen McDermott, for the last few years at Leechburg.
Owen was one of a half dozen seniors who graduated. He was a leading scorer for the Blue Devils along with Marcus Cleveland, who also graduated.
That means McDermott will be taking over a fairly inexperienced team, but he’s not concerned, citing great turnouts at open gyms since last season ended.
He said there have been at least 15 players at every open gym, and he likes the athleticism within the group.
“We have Jaden Floyd and Brady Rollinger as the only two coming back with varsity experience, but we have a lot of young guys that have been in the gym since the season ended, whether it be open gyms or the St. Joseph summer league, and they’re hungry,” McDermott said. “It’s great to see the turnout that we’ve had in open gyms, and it’s been competitive. I’m not worried about us being young, because we have some players that are going to be very good.”
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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