Washowich steps down at Norwin

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 1:09 PM


Lynn Washowich met with his players Monday and explained that it would be unfair to them if he returned as boys basketball coach at Norwin.

“I told the kids I did it for them,” said Washowich, who resigned after 21 seasons in the program, the last 17 as head coach. “I want them to know I’m not quitting on them; it’s just that, if I can’t be there all the time, I shouldn’t be there.”

Family time has become increasingly more important to Washowich, who wants to see his two young children, Aidan (8) and Ava (7) grow up and play sports.

Balancing time with them, and his team, became equally challenging for Washowich, 43, who became a head coach at 26. Not being able to coach Norwin year-round, which has become the norm for high school coaches, saddled him with guilt.

While he tried to make it work, he felt he was cheating his players and assistants, who were simply putting in more time. Something had to give.

A decision he has been pondering for three years finally reached its fever pitch.

“I was a three-sport head coach,” he said. “I was head coach at Norwin, head coach of my son’s football team and head coach of my son’s basketball team. I need to be there for my kids. I was missing some of their practices, too. Last year, I disappeared in July and didn’t come back until December. If I couldn’t do it right, I couldn’t do it.”

Washowich, a McKeesport graduate who began coaching as an assistant at Norwin at an open gym the day after he graduated from Mercyhurst, finished with a record of 223-173. He made the WPIAL playoffs 12 times and won two section titles. The Knights went 22-4 in 2006-07 and 20-8 in 2007-08, reaching the WPIAL semifinals in the latter season.

He had five losing seasons. Norwin missed the playoffs the last three years.

“It was an incredibly tough decision to leave, one of the hardest things I have ever done,” said Washowich, a longtime teacher at Norwin. “I’d still like to stick around as an assistant or be around the program, but I can’t give the head coaching job the full time it needs.

“Being able to teach and coach at Norwin is a dream come true. Norwin is the best community on earth. I am so appreciative of everyone here and the opportunities I have had.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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