Two of the area's highly touted women's basketball coaches are stepping down after long careers on the collegiate and high school levels.
Jan Reddinger is terminating her five-year stint at Westminster College while Mary Jo Staunch is wrapping up her nine-year tenure at Sharon High. The two have carried the banners of their respective schools very high and both are a credit to the game, their players and their schools.
Rosanne Scott, an assistant coach on Reddinger's staff, will be elevated to the top spot. A new assistant coach, replacing Scott, will be named in the near future.
Still coaches softball
Reddinger, who directed the Titans to a 44-84 mark the past five seasons, will remain on staff as softball coach. She will also serve as an assistant coach for another sport to be determined.
Scott served as assistant coach for the past two seasons. She hails from Struthers, where she was a standout, going on to a career at Bethany College from where she graduated in 2000. At Bethany, she was a four-time All-PAC first team selection and was twice named PAC Player of the Year. In addition to her new duties at Westminster, she will continue to serve as assistant women's track and field coach.
Women's cross country coach Dr. Gary Lili will also coach the men's team. He replaces Dr. Ron Galbreath who recently retired from the college after serving as men's cross country coach since 1974. Lilly has led the women's program for the last 13 seasons. He is a 1969 Westminster graduate and is associate professor and chair of the Political science and Sociology department. He will give up his current duties as assistant track and field coach next season.
Staunch steps down
Staunch, according to Webster's Dictionary, means steadfast, loyal, solidly made. As Sharon basketball coach, Mary Jo Staunch was all of these things, and more, to the Tigers. But with a growing family (three children) and a husband, Jack, she felt her place was at home.
Mary Jo's outstanding basketball path began at Sharpsville High. Known then as Mary Jo Vodenichar, she carved a niche in Blue Darling basketball that will remain in history books for ever. She powered the Blue Darlings to the state title game her senior year before losing to Susquehanna.
She went to Penn State-Shenango Valley and while there earned Kodiak Junior College All-American honors. Following two years at PSU she moved on to Youngstown State. She then served as an assistant coach before being named head coach at Sharon.
Mary Jo faced a stern challenge at Sharon, but she met the obstacles head on. She posted a nine-year mark of 158-92 and this past season led the Tigers to a 22-6 mark before bowing out in the playoffs.
She coached as she played; perhaps that's what made her such an outstanding coach. She understood the game and knew the components of being a winner.