Toole Named First Wilkes-Barre Area Head Boys Basketball Coach
PLAINS TWP. — Pat Toole has a pretty good idea about jointures. He played for the first Bishop Hoban basketball team when the catholic schools merged.
Now he will be in charge of coaching basketball with a mixture of players from all three public schools in Wilkes-Barre.
The Wilkes-Barre school board announced its coaches for the 2019-2020 winter sports teams at its meeting Wednesday night at the Solomon-Plains school complex. Toole was named the boys basketball coach with former Bishop Hoban/Holy Redeemer star Owen Wignot being named the associate head coach. Wignot played his college basketball at Siena and most recently has been an assistant coach at Wilkes Univeristy the past four seasons under Izzi Metz.
“The first thing I am going to have to do is look at the numbers and see what we have,” said Toole, who was in attendance at the board meeting. “I was fortunate enough to be the last Meyers coach, and I am honored to be the first coach of the Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack. I plan on getting in the three schools within the next couple of days.”
Other winter sports coaches named on Wednesday were Ross Macciocco as the head girls basketball coach with Mary Mushock named the associate head coach. Dave Parsnik was named wrestling coach, while Anthony Mercadante was chosen as the associate head coach.
Danielle Castanaro was named the swim coach, while Jocelyn Robertson was named girls volleyball coach with Sarah Fugate being named the associate head coach. Jeanette Aiello was named band director.
All the coaches voted on were unanimous with the exception of the girls head basketball position. Board president Joe Caffrey was the lone no vote. Macciocco was the only coach the board went outside of the district to approve.
While Toole has 22 years of experience coaching at Meyers, the last 16 being the head coach, Macciocco is experienced as well. He won 660 games as head coach at Dunmore and Scranton Prep, a tenure that spanned 34 years. He won 14 Lackawanna League championships and seven District 2 titles. His daughter, Tara, just completed her first season as the head women’s basketball coach at Wilkes University.
As for Toole, after struggling in his first few seasons at Meyers, he turned the Mohawks into a perennial division and district contender. Toole coached 11 state playoff games during his time with the Mohawks, advancing as far as the state semifinals in 2014.
“I know what is ahead of us,” Toole said. “I believe my strength is taking a group of individuals and molding them into a team. Now it will be a bigger job molding three schools into a team. I have a proposed plan in place. We want to keep as many kids involved in basketball the best we can.”
Parsnik also has an idea of what it is like combining programs. As the head coach of the Coughlin wrestling program, he has had wrestlers from GAR in the program all wrestling under the Coughlin umbrella. That jointure began with the start of the 2016-17 season.
Toole said the interview process consisted of three interviews, and the pool of candidates was dropped down to three finalists. The interview committee then made their decisions based on the final interview. Toole also said he is looking forward to sitting down with Wignot, as part of the process of getting the basketball program moving forward.
“I coached against Owen and followed his career at Siena,” Toole said. “I know he has been coaching at Wilkes. I am sure with his experience of playing at the Division 1 level and coaching at Division 3, he can bring a lot to our program.”
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