Longtime assistant promoted to 1st head coaching job with Yough boys

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 | 9:51 PM

Yough on Tuesday night promoted junior varsity coach Will “Boo” Sherbondy to head varsity boys basketball coach.

Sherbondy, a Yough alum, was a longtime assistant to Jim Nesser, who resigned after six seasons leading the Cougars. Nesser retired from teaching after 38 years.

Sherbondy is well known in local basketball circles. He will take on his first head-coaching position.

“I always wanted to be a head coach, but it had to be the right situation,” Sherbondy said. “I applied at a couple of other places years ago, but I wasn’t ready. I was hoping (Nesser) would stay a little longer, actually. I am excited. I already started watching film.”

Sherbondy, 48, also coached alongside Nesser at Hempfield, Elizabeth Forward and Jeannette. He also was an assistant with the Hempfield girls.

Sherbondy has been active in AAU for several years and started his own non-profit organization, PA Elite Inc.

“We are excited to have coach Sherbondy lead our boys program,” Yough principal Brian Sutherland said.

Nesser was Sherbondy’s mentor, so expect to see some of the veteran coach’s tendencies on the sidelines.

“Ness is my No. 1 foundation,” Sherbondy said. “I want to bring what Ness brought, but with maybe some extra sauce offensively.”

Nesser, who coached 41 years at various WPIAL programs and had two six-year stints with the Cougars, advised Yough to hire Sherbondy.

“This is great for the program,” Nesser said. “I’m excited for him. He will give his heart and soul to the kids and the district. He deserves an opportunity to lead.”

Also an assistant to Aaron Epps with a Hempfield girls team that reached the WPIAL Class 4A championship game in 2014, Sherbondy said he also learned intriguing techniques from Epps.

“He was unbelievable as an offensive mind,” Sherbondy said.

Sherbondy has degrees from Cal (Pa.) and West Virginia and worked internships with the Pitt women, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Sky of the WNBA.

Yough saw a spike in success in recent seasons with star guard Terek Crosby, a 2,000-plus-point career scorer, and forward Austin Matthews forming a one-two punch.

Yough went 19-7 last season and won back-to-back section titles for the first time. The Cougars played in the PIAA postseason two years ago.

Both of those players are graduates now, though, so Sherbondy will be starting over.

“I have been coaching in the YMCA league, and we have some young guys,” he said. “It’s going to be different. You have guys like Terek, Austin and Zander (Aird) and they know what to do out there, so you don’t have to worry much.”

Sherbondy has not let a disability prevent him from teaching the game or watching countless hours of game film. He coaches from a wheelchair. He was critically injured in a vehicle accident in 1998.

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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