‘Perfect timing’ leads Dave DeGregorio back to North Allegheny as boys basketball coach

Thursday, May 20, 2021 | 12:52 PM

When Dave DeGregorio resigned at North Allegheny five years ago to coach his sons, a part of him thought he might return someday, if the timing was right.

That well-timed moment arrived Wednesday night when the school board officially rehired him for a second stint as North Allegheny boys basketball coach, athletic director Bob Bozzuto said. DeGregorio coached the Tigers from 2004-16 and went 232-76 in 12 seasons.

“It had to be the perfect timing,” said DeGregorio, who spent the past five seasons coaching sons Isaac and Owen, first at Hampton and later North Catholic.

Isaac graduated from North Catholic last year, and Owen was a senior on North Catholic’s basketball team this past season. So, when the North Allegheny job unexpectedly came available in March, DeGregorio was interested.

He replaces Dan DeRose, who resigned after one season.

“Who would have thought right when Owen’s graduating, that position opens up?” DeGregorio said. “The timing of it was just perfect.”

After resigning as NA’s coach in 2016, DeGregorio served two seasons as an assistant at Hampton before becoming North Catholic’s head coach in 2018. In three seasons with the Trojans, his teams went 65-13, reached the WPIAL finals all three years and won a Class 3A title in 2020.

DeGregorio said he wasn’t looking to leave North Catholic. He’s a physical education teacher in the North Allegheny district, so that’s the only other job to interest him.

“North Catholic was nothing but a good, positive experience,” DeGregorio said. “The three years there were great. We had great kids. We won. All those kinds of things. But also, Bob Bozzuto is a really good friend of mine. North Allegheny hired me years ago to come in and teach and coach, and that’s where I want to finish up my career.”

North Allegheny won five section titles under DeGregorio, made the playoffs 11 times and reached the WPIAL finals in 2015. Bozzuto said it was tough to see DeGregorio leave five years ago and always kept the door open for him to potentially come back.

“We didn’t want him to leave,” Bozzuto said. “I realized he wanted to coach his boys. I understand that. … But our hope was that eventually, at some point, Dave would return should the opportunity occur.”

Along with DeGregorio, the school is expected to hire former Vincentian Academy coach Tim Tyree as assistant head coach, Bozzuto said, and welcome back former assistants Jared Peck and Jamey Pirring. Current assistant coach Aaron Smith, a former Steelers defensive lineman, also is expected to remain on the staff.

North Allegheny went 16-7 last season under DeRose. The Tigers won the Section 1-6A title and reached the WPIAL quarterfinals.

“Dan DeRose did a tremendous job here last year,” Bozzuto said. “When he resigned for personal reasons that just opened the door for Dave.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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