Mt. Pleasant’s Scott Giacobbi retires after 19 seasons coaching girls basketball

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Tuesday, July 2, 2024 | 1:05 PM


A military man, Scott Giacobbi is saluting the Mt. Pleasant girls basketball program one last time.

The longtime authority of the Vikings is retiring from coaching and teaching.

He became coach in 2005, and his career spanned 19 seasons, 13 of which saw the Vikings reach the WPIAL playoffs.

Mt. Pleasant only had seven losing seasons under Giacobbi, who finished 246-192 and went to the PIAA playoffs three times.

“A 19-season career is filled with highs and lows,” he said. “Big wins in WPIAL and PIAA playoffs are certainly memorable, but the battling and finding success in seasons when we struggled also stand out. Coaching in a public school is about seeking consistency and trying to prolong your program’s upswings while minimizing the downturns.”

Full retirement for teachers in Pennsylvania is 35 years of service, with certain stipulations. Giacobbi, 56, is leaving after 34.6 years — close enough — as he makes use of a district incentive that isn’t guaranteed to be there in the future.

He taught social studies in the district.

“I felt that it was best to retire from both coaching and teaching at the same time,” said Giacobbi, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve and coached for the entire time he was in the classroom. He retired as a colonel from the USAR in 2019.

The time to officially unwind is now.

“I traveled a lot due to the demands of senior staff officer and command positions in the last decade or so of my USAR career,” he said. “My wife and I are looking forward to some downtime, travel and time with family.”

Giacobbi said the decision came with some tossing and turning. Retiring for him was going to be all or nothing.

“It’s difficult on a number of levels to resign from doing something that you’ve really enjoyed over time,” he said. “I considered staying on as coach, but the time demands of managing an effective program are many. Things like travel over Thanksgiving and Christmas are limited or out of the question for a head coach during the WPIAL/PIAA basketball season. Likewise, I’d be marshalling players for workouts, summer league games, conditioning (etc.) today and all summer, which is not so much like retirement.”

Another staple of being in the military is structure and routine. Giacobbi had both in coaching, and the absence of both will be noticeable.

“I will miss the routine of building and developing a team over the course of any given season, and of building and developing our district’s program from season to season,” he said. “Sports, (like education), is a people business, and I will miss the many relationships that you build through coaching, especially the relationships with our players. Every season offers a cast of characters that make coaching so challenging and fun. It’s all about the players.”

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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