Penn Hills hires former Seton Hill star Chris Giles as boys basketball coach

Monday, June 29, 2020 | 9:07 PM

When Chris Giles found out he would be Penn Hills’ new boys basketball coach, he immediately shared the news with the coach he was hired to replace.

“Out of respect,” Giles said. “It was his program. Coach DeRose was a mentor of mine. I’m a big ‘respect’ guy.”

Penn Hills on Monday hired Giles, a former assistant coach at Woodland Hills and head coach at Propel Andrew Street to replace Dan DeRose, who left after five seasons for North Allegheny.

DeRose encouraged Giles to apply.

The two have known one another since Giles’ college days, when he was becoming the all-time leading scorer on Seton Hill’s men’s basketball team and DeRose was an assistant coach there.

“I told him he needed to apply for the job,” DeRose said. “I encouraged him to go for it because I think Chris is one of the young, up-and-coming coaches who’s going to do a good job.”

“He gave me nothing but support throughout this whole entire process,” Giles said. “I had his support from day one.”

The West Mifflin native spent this past season on coach Matt Furjanic’s staff at Woodland Hills after three years at Propel.

“I’ve always had dreams and aspirations of becoming a head coach again,” Giles said, “and it just felt like the perfect time.”

Giles works as a Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher at Obama Academy.

The West Mifflin graduate was inducted into the Seton Hill University Athletic Hall of Fame last year. He holds the men’s basketball team’s career records for points (1,864), field goals (711), free throws (432), assists (323) and steals (217).

After college, he joined a basketball tour in China for a month and a half, and later played eight months in Costa Rica.

“I’m a former PSAC guy who likes to get up and down,” Giles said. “We’re going to look to really hone in on our fundamentals and get better at that. But offensively, we’re going to push the ball in transition, we’re going to try to attack and space teams out. We’ll use our lanes and our athleticism.”

Giles takes over a team that won 100 games in five seasons under DeRose including a WPIAL Class 6A title in 2018.

“He did a tremendous job with those kids over there,” Giles said. “Defensively, they’re consistently one of the best teams in the WPIAL, year in and year out. They have great athletes and kids who love the game of basketball.

“What is there not to like?”

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

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