Norwin’s Vince DeAugustine reaches coaching milestone

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020 | 6:26 PM


The Norwin wrestling team presented coach Vince DeAugustine a couple of banners following Monday’s match against West Mifflin.

The banners were to commemorate his 250th coaching win.

In 15 years as a coach, DeAugustine’s record stands 250-61, including 218-53 in 13 years at his alma mater Hempfield.

And while DeAugustine was grateful to reach the milestone, he said it’s more about the wrestlers.

“I have a philosophy and a way I coach, but if you don’t have the wrestlers to implement it, you’re not going to be successful,” DeAugustine said. “I’ve been blessed with a real good group of wrestlers both at Hempfield and Norwin.”

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.

“The first state champion is always the most memorable one,” DeAugustine said. “They’re all special, but Steve had never won a tournament until he won his state title.”

Norwin has reached the WPIAL team tournament in back-to-back seasons under DeAugustine.

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

“Coach DeAugustine has changed the mindset here,” Weinzen said. “He’s organized and he has everyone working harder. He’s helped us become better.”

DeAugustine said having a good coaching staff makes his job easier.

“It’s been a good ride at both schools,” DeAugustine said. “I have a great staff. A lot of credit goes to them and the wrestlers. They trust me.”

The Knights (15-4) advanced to the first round of the tournament with a 51-18 preliminary round victory against West Mifflin. Now, the Knights will face No. 3 Canon-McMillan.

Norwin’s dual season won’t be over after WPIALs. The Knights have matches at Altoona, State College and Milton scheduled during a trip to Bucknell to watch former Knight Drew Phipps wrestle.

Drew’s brother Kurtis, a two-time PIAA runner-up, is hoping to become Norwin’s first PIAA champion in wrestling.

“That’s what we’re working on, getting Norwin a state champion,” DeAugustine said. “That’s our next goal.”

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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