CLARION — Veteran Keystone High School boys’ basketball coach Greg Heath was named this year’s recipient of the Sportsperson of the Year award for Western Pennsylvania.
The award is given out annually at the Sportsmanship I/Clarion County YMCA All-Star Basketball Games, which will be held this Saturday at Clarion Area High School. Heath will be honored at halftime of the boys’ game that begins at approximately 7:30 p.m. The girls’ game begins at 6 p.m.
The award coincides with the theme of the all-star games. The criteria for the award requires that the recipient demonstrates excellent consistency in character traits such as leadership, honesty, fairness, integrity and courtesy.
“Greg Heath is a person who emphasizes the meaning of sportsmanship in our society,” Sportsmanship I All-Star Games Director Norb Baschnagel said. “He has had a great 30-plus year career at Keystone High School as a teacher, coach, and mentor to our youth in the community.
“Greg has made a very positive impact on many young men’s and women’s lives as teacher and coach at Keystone High School. He teaches his players the game of life and doing the right things on and off the court, this is done with caring, fairness, integrity, honesty and sportsmanship.”
Heath just completed his 30th season as head coach of the Panthers and his career record is 536-233. His teams have won 12 conference titles and nine District 9 championships. They have participated in the PIAA state playoffs 19 times and reached the state quarterfinals twice.
“I’m deeply appreciative of the Keystone School District for allowing me the opportunity to coach for the last 30 years,” Heath said. “I believe that the relationships I’ve had with recent and former players and coaches are some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Greg and his wife Linda have been married for 32 years. The couple has three children, including Garrett, a former player and graduate of Clarion University; Courtney, a recent graduate of Eastern University; and Jordan, a junior at Keystone. Greg and Linda are members of the Salem Lutheran Church and Greg is a teacher at Keystone and remains active in the community.