West Allegheny hires WPIAL champion to replace Bob Palko as track coach

Friday, February 22, 2019 | 2:56 PM

West Allegheny lost one WPIAL champion coach but quickly added another.

Laura Montecalvo, who led Chartiers-Houston to a WPIAL girls basketball title in 2017, was hired to coach West Allegheny’s track team, athletic director Dave McBain said. Montecalvo replaces Bob Palko, who was West A’s football coach for 24 seasons but also its head track coach for the past two.

Montecalvo works as a guidance counselor at West Allegheny.

“She obviously has a pretty good resume as a WPIAL champion basketball coach,” McBain said. “Being in the building, she’s already built great relationships with our kids. She had a pretty prestigious high school track career and still conditions kids that same way over the summertime at Char-Houston with her dad Guy. It was an obvious choice for us to move this program ahead.”

Palko left the district and was named football coach at Mt. Lebanon on Feb. 12. West Allegheny had to scramble to find a replacement for Palko before track practice officially starts March 4.

Montecalvo, a 2006 Washington graduate, was a three-sport standout in high school (volleyball, basketball, track). She just finished her fifth season as girls basketball coach at Chartiers-Houston. The Bucs won the WPIAL Class 2A title in 2017 and were runners-up last season.

Along with coaching football, her father, Guy Montecalvo, was track coach at Washington for 13 seasons. He was announced Thursday as a 2019 inductee into the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

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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