WPIAL Coaches Corner – Ralph Blundo
Sunday, January 29, 2017 | 9:59 AM
In this new feature titled “Coach’s Corner”, I will be interviewing a different coach every week and asking them questions about their personal life and about coaching. Hopefully their answers will not only shed some light on how they coach their respective teams, but also allow readers to get to know the men behind the fields/courts.
This week highlights New Castle boys basketball coach Ralph Blundo. Coach Blundo is in his 7th season coaching the Hurricanes. He won a WPIAL title in 2012 in 3-A. Then his team moved up to 4-A and won back to back titles in 2013 and 2014, capped by a PIAA state crown in 2014. He currently has the ‘Canes ranked #1 in 4-A this season. Let’s take a look inside Coach Blundo’s corner:
- Who was your favorite sports player growing up and why?
Larry Bird because he was a winner.
- What is your favorite TV show now?
I have 4 kids so I don’t get to watch TV, but when I do it is normally college basketball.
- Describe your dream vacation.
My wife and I go on vacation after the season for four (4) days every year. Usually Fort Lauderdale. A good friend of mine once told me that all coaches need time to restore their soul. It’s so relaxing.
- What is your go-to leisure activity?
Golf, but I play way less than I used to.
- What are some of your pet peeves?
Apathy… and when young people think it’s ok to say things to other kids that they know will cut them to their soul!
- What words of wisdom would you pass onto your childhood self?
The same thing I tell my players every day…You can’t get these days back.
- What is the most important thing you try to preach to your players every year?
Effort, toughness, and that the little things matter.
- You won a WPIAL title in 3-A in 2012, and then the very next year, you had to move up to 4-A. How did you keep the success going (by winning back to back titles in 2013 and 2014) in a higher classification?
Good players and a culture that believes in what we do.
- What is your proudest moment as a high school basketball coach?
Winning the State Championship and watching all the success my players are having after high school graduation.
- Right now you are ranked #1 in 4-A. Do you and your team pay any attention to the rankings, or use them as motivation at all?
- What do you normally do in the offseason?
We have strength and conditioning coach…. the players are with him in the morning and with me at night for skill work. Summer leagues and shootouts.
- Describe the feeling of winning a PIAA crown in 2014, in only the second year as a 4-A school.
Every coach should get to walk in a locker-room after winning a state championship. Looking at your kids and the happiness on their faces can’t be effectively described.
- What was your most embarrassing moment as a high school basketball coach?
Did a Charlie Brown slip during the Lower Merion game in 2013 Western Final…I wasn’t embarrassed because I was so into the game, but it sure was funny!
- What made you want to become a coach?
I wanted to help New Castle kids.
- How much have the players at New Castle influenced you over the 7 years you have coached there?
They keep me deeply rooted and connected to the pulse of our community.
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