Riverview sends well wishes and a happy retirement for recently-retired boys and girls basketball coaches Keith Stitt and Paul Sapotichne!
Between them, they have more than 24 years of coaching at Riverview and more than 75 years of overall coaching experience!
Coach Stitt was at Riverview for 18 years, leading the 9th grade boys basketball for six years and, most recently, coaching girls varsity basketball for 12 years. Coach Sapotichne just retired from coaching boys basketball after six years. He came out of retirement for Riverview following a 29-year storybook run as boys basketball coach at Greensburg Salem in Westmoreland County.
“I had a great experience and it was a very enlightening experience,” Coach Stitt said. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
Coach Sapotichne also looks back fondly at his career at the district. “I’ve had a lot of great players and a lot of great kids over the years” he said, “but I don’t think I’ve worked with better young men and a better administration.”
As with all sports, their times were marked by dizzying highs and humbling lows. Coach Stitt recalls a 2015 WPIAL Class A Girls Basketball Semifinal game in which the team lost to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in a buzzer beater shot, 41-40. “That was a tough one,” he said.
Both coaches mentioned training during the COVID-19 as a double edged sword – one that came with unique challenges but with students more enthusiastic than ever to be playing together.
“It was definitely different, but still enjoyable,” Coach Stitt said. “The kids definitely liked it.”
Above all, both coaches reflected on seeing the fortitude from their student athletes’ as the best parts of their career.
“I’d like to thank them all for their hard work,” Coach Stitt said. “Stay with what you believe and keep chasing that dream.”
Coach Sapotichne echoed similar thoughts on hard work. “Rarely do you get up in the morning and get just better,” he said. “You have to work hard at it.”