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December 7, 2012

H.S. ATHLETICS: Trio of coaches close in on milestones

December 7, 2012 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE — Commitment. Every coach preaches about it. Only the great ones truly live it. And Crawford County has been lucky enough to have its fair share of great coaches over the years.

Well, three of those area coaches are each likely to reach an extraordinary milestone in their respective careers during the course of the winter season.

Saegertown girls basketball coach Steve Scott needs just one win to net 500 for his career. Meadville boys basketball coach Norm Price is just three wins away from 400 career coaching victories. And Meadville hockey coach Jamie Plunkett needs eight more wins to notch the 900th of his career.

“Well,” Plunkett joked, “when you’re 100 years old, that’s what happens.”

 

Price nears 400

Norm Price’s coaching career is somewhat unique in that his 23 years at the Bulldogs’ helm is broken up into two long chapters. Both chapters, though, have been a thrill to behold.

The first chapter started in 1979 when Price first took over the Meadville boys program. His first win as coach didn’t arrive until 10 games into that initial season. But on the night of Jan. 3, 1980, the Bulldogs finally pulled one out, slipping by Strong Vincent 52-50.   

That was just the start of what would be a hugely successful run for Price and the ’Dogs, who would go on to post a record of 283-119, win 11 conference titles, four District 10 championships, three trips to the PIAA West Final and one appearnace in the state championship game.

After the ’94 season, however, Price gave up coaching due to, he said later, the birth of his son and to the fact that, at the time, he was feeling a little, “burned out.”

However, 10 years later the coaching bug bit him again. And starting with the 2004-05 season, Price was back at courtside at the House of Thrills. And 114 wins and 85 losses later, Price heads into the 2012-13 campaign needing just three more victories to reach the big four-oh-oh.

His current career coaching record is 397-204.

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