Simons says yes to second chance

Two years ago, Troy Simons was hoping to spend a post-graduate year at Montverde Academy. Now, Simons has gone from cautionary tale to fairy tale, blossoming into the NJCAA’s No. 2 scorer and a Division-I prospect at Polk State College.

Bryan Rust knocked off skates

Penguins right wing Bryan Rust is knocked off his skates by Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio

As Jonathan Bombulie writes, Patric Hornqvist might move up and down the lines for the Penguins but you can always find him in front of the net. Hornqvist scored twice, as the Penguins beat the Avalanche, 4-1, in Colorado.

Kris Letang

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang now has his own candy bar

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie writes that the road has been friendlier lately, Evgeni Malkin participates in a full-contact practice and why it feels like there are 25 coaches on this trip.

Bombulie also writes that all-time scorers are plentiful in the NHL, including the Penguins’ Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

Jung Ho Kang 2

Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang faces two charges of drunken driving in South Korea

A trial date has been set for the Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Pat Light

Pat Light made 17 appearances last season between the Twins and Red Sox

The Pirates also made a deal with the Twins for a relief pitcher, acquiring right-hander Pat Light, Biertempfel writes.

Alan Faneca 2

Alan Faneca dropped 100 pounds after his NFL career ended

Finally, Chris Adamski spoke with former Steelers great Alan Faneca and Hall of Fame finalist and wrote on the Steel Mill blog about how a transition to running marathons was as smooth as it was sudden.



Lots of love for Chartiers Valley graduate T.J. McConnell with the 76ers

Brown vows to be a ‘Steeler for life’

antonio brown

Antonio Brown apologized for his Facebook Live video and said he wants to be a ‘Steeler for life’

The antics of Brown were a major plot of the Steelers’ storyline this past season, when he went from a dangerous decoy to one who helped humble the Colts to showing he’s tough enough by making the play of the season to clinch the AFC North division title. Antonio was awaiting his Santonio moment when he brought negative attention to the Steelers with his locker-room live stream video.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown says he’s a ‘Steeler for life’

Mike Young mask

Mike Young led Pitt to its first victory since Jan. 4, snapping an eight-game losing streak

Mike Young matched a season-high with 30 points to help Pitt snap its losing streak by beating Boston College, writes Stephen Hewitt.

Trevor Daley

Defenseman Trevor Daley says the Penguins need to focus on ‘taking time and space away’

Bill West writes that the Penguins’ defense looks to step up the pressure now that the top tandem of Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin are back together.

Jake Guentzel hit by Matt Niskanen

Jake Guentzel is on the receiving end of a check by Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen

In the Penguins notebook, West writes that Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel is handling late hits with grace.

Pirates fans

According to Team Marketing Report, the Pirates’ average ticket price of $29.96 last season was the 12th most-expensive in the majors

The Pirates plan no ticket price hikes this season, writes Rob Biertempfel.

Andrew McCutchen 2

Andrew McCutchen is one of three Pirates outfielders who will play in the World Baseball Classic

Five Pirates players were named to World Baseball Classic rosters, including all three starting outfielders.

A Point Taken

Matthew Tkachuk runs into Matt Murray

Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk crashes into Penguins goalie Matt Murray

Crosby falls short of 1,000th point but Penguins rally to earn a point in shootout loss to Flames, writes Bill West.


Sully and Gully worked together in Vancouver in 2013-14

West also had an interesting story about why Penguins coach Mike Sullivan respects Flames coach Glen Gulutzan — better known as Sully and Gully — on the Chipped Ice blog.

Xavier Grimble

Steelers tight end Xavier Grimble appeared in 11 games last season

Joe Rutter writes that the Steelers signed tight end Xavier Grimble to one-year deal.

This is worth reading…

Mike Young

Pitt forward Mike Young leads the Panthers in scoring

After close losses at North Carolina and Duke, Pitt hopes to snap its losing streak against struggling Boston College, writes Jerry DiPaola.

For more on this, check out Jerry’s post on the Pitt Locker Room blog.

No wonder the Panthers are working so hard in the weight room…

Lamar Stevens

Lamar Stevens scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half

Freshman Lamar Stevens led Penn State to a victory over No. 21 Maryland. You might remember Stevens as a four-star recruit out of Roman Catholic, which beat Allderdice for the PIAA Class AAAA championship last spring.

Matt D'Amico

Matt D’Amico, a Fox Chapel graduate, is one of eight St. Vincent players with WPIAL ties

Bill Beckner writes that a cast of talented transfers, including several WPIAL products, is helping St. Vincent continues its winning ways.

On the iPreps blog, Beckner writes that Ron Richards will resign at Plum after winning 254 games and four section titles.


Pirates playing musical chairs in the outfield

Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen is moving to a position he’s never played in the minors or the majors

This tweet …

… was followed by this announcement:

On Sunday, Rob Biertempfel reported that the Pirates are moving Andrew McCutchen to right field. My column for Tuesday says that moving McCutchen is the best move for the Bucs.

Cutch, of course, had the perfect reaction to the Pirates’ announcement:

This guy made the case for the move back in November:

But these guys disagree about putting Gregory Polanco in left:

But Polanco has his mind on more serious matters:

Sidney Crosby 2

Sidney Crosby is on the verge of becoming the NHL’s 86th player to reach the 1,000-point mark

Sidney Crosby is on the brink of 1,000 points, and Jonathan Bombulie writes that the Penguins captain maintains perspective about joining an exclusive club.

Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin practiced Monday at PPG Paints Arena

Meantime, after missing four games (and the NHL’s top 100 list), Evgeni Malkin is inching back to the Penguins’ lineup, writes Bill West.

Amid an eight-game losing streak, Jerry DiPaola reports, Pitt wants its improved effort to equate into wins.

Justin Gilbert

Justin Gilbert made his biggest impact in his one season with the Steelers as a kick returner

The bad news isn’t so much that the Steelers released cornerback Justin Gilbert, as Joe Rutter writes, but rather that they traded a sixth-round draft pick for the former Cleveland Browns first-rounder. Especially considering that, a year earlier, the Steelers dealt a fifth-rounder to the Philadelphia Eagles for Brandon Boykin.

Sacrificing a sixth-rounder might seem like no big deal, except for the fact that the New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady with the 199th pick in 2000 or that the Steelers selected Antonio Brown 195th in 2010.

Not everyone was so impressed with Brady in Super Bowl LI:


A Super Bowl in the ‘Burgh? No thanks

Heinz Field

Heinz Field would be one of the smallest venues, in seating capacity, to host a Super Bowl

Heinz Field could host Super Bowl LVII in Pittsburgh, Tom Fontaine writes, but is it worth it?

No thanks, I wrote back in 2010, for one reason in particular. And it has nothing to do with whether Pittsburgh can handle a major event. Fontaine also wrote about how VisitPittsburgh is renewing its bid to increase the hotel tax to attract sporting events.

Jason Taylor

The Dolphins carried Jason Taylor off the field following his final game in January 2012

“I’m here today because of George Novak. He started this journey off, when I knew nothing about football. They’d throw a flag, and I didn’t know what the signal was. I’d watch my teammates, see where they walked, because I didn’t know what the heck to do. I didn’t know Cover-2 from Cover-3 from Cover-1. I was a safety, and he told me to stay deep. That’s kind of how I learned how to play. So, I owe George Novak a lot, my old high school football coach. He was the best, and still is the best.”

– Jason Taylor, thanking Woodland Hills coach George Novak in announcing his retirement in 2012

Former Steelers guard Alan Faneca fell short of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Miami Dolphins great Jason Taylor – a Woodland Hills product – got the Hall call in his first ballot.

Marc-Andre Fleury was back between the pipes, and helped the Penguins beat the Blues, writes Jonathan Bombulie.

Speaking of Fleury, it’s worth your time to read Rob Rossi’s Upgruv take on The Flower’s long wilting.

Mike Yeo

Mike Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock as St. Louis Blues coach

In the Penguins notebook, Bombulie reports that Blues coach Mike Yeo (a former Penguins assistant) is no stranger to midseason changes.

Crosby scores on Allen

Sidney Crosby scores on Blues goalie Jake Allen in the Penguins’ 4-1 win Saturday

In the aftermath, JB goes more in-depth on Chipped Ice.

Grayson Allen

Grayson Allen celebrates a 3-pointer, as Mike Young contemplates tripping on the Duke star

In Coack K’s return to Duke sideline, Pitt loses and drops to 1-9 in ACC, writes Travis Durkee.

Pitt added another basketball recruit, a center with a cool name, writes Jerry DiPaola. And Jerry, the hardest-working man in the business, also has the story on Pitt football dismissing its defensive line coach.



Jung Ho Kang

The Pirates declined to comment on third baseman Jung Ho Kang’s decision to enter rehab or his status with the team

Rob Biertempfel reports that Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang will enter a treatment program following his third drunk driving incident in South Korea.




On Super Bowl Sunday, it’s worth your time to read this Bill Plaschke column. Not forgotten: For every Super Bowl star, there’s an equally talented player who did not make it.


Blue Devils and Blue Jackets

Dick Groat

Dick Groat

My column today is on Dick Groat, who returns to Duke for the first time as the Pitt basketball color analyst and how Tobacco Road is the one place he’s known more for basketball than baseball. Groat missed a homecoming ceremony two years ago, when he couldn’t travel to Durham after sustaining a concussion.

On being a two-sport star: “It’s amazing, I’m remembered in North Carolina as a basketball player much more than anyplace in the country. I’m remembered more as a baseball player everywhere else, because I played 16 years in the majors. I always felt I was a much better basketball player than I ever was a baseball player. And I had more fun in half a season in the NBA than the guys have today, with all their money. For the Pirates, I made $5,000 as a rookie. I got $10,000 to play for the Pistons, and I was still finishing up on my degree at Duke. They got me a private plane and flew me into where they were playing. I had class Monday-Wednesday-Friday and played Saturdays and Sundays and Tuesdays and Thursdays for the Pistons. I never practiced with them. I played for Paul Birch, a Homestead native who was a great at Duquesne University.”

On signing with Pirates straight out of Duke: “I only played two years in baseball and we won the conference both years and went to the College World Series. We came home on Sunday, I signed with the Pirates Monday and joined the team Tuesday in New York, pinch-hit Wednesday and started every game after that in the 1952 season. We lost 112 games. They were so bad it’s no wonder I was a starter right out of college. I was fortunate enough to lead the Pirates in hitting.”

On scoring a Cameron-record 48 points against North Carolina: “I remember I had 46 earlier against George Washington. I wasn’t even thinking about that. I was having a pretty good night. Then, all of a sudden, Carolina came out of nowhere to get within four or five points of us. I finished with 20-something in the last eight or nine minutes. I remember everything I threw up went down during that stretch. Only one other person at Duke scored more than that (Danny Ferry had 58 against Miami). It’s not fair. If they’d have had the 3-point line back then, I probably would have had at least six or seven more points.”

Groat isn’t the only Dookie to have a dislike for Carolina…


After wasting a 3-1 lead, the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets in OT, writes Bill West.

Matt Murray stops shot

Penguins goalie Matt Murray

Penguins notebook: Goalies fine with NHL-mandated pants, reports West.

On Chipped Ice, West writes that the Penguins and Blue Jackets have begun to ramp up the playoff rhetoric.


Talking Steelers at Super Bowl LI in Houston

The Steelers aren’t playing in Super Bowl LI, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the talk of Houston.

Antonio Brown has been accused of being a distraction — even though most of his antics are harmless — but the All-Pro receiver took exception to some of his criticism during a visit with Shannon Sharpe and Skip (aka Shrimp) Bayless .

And Ben Roethlisberger appeared on a podcast with Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, a Moon native and former Pitt assistant, and called the Steelers the ‘little brother’ to the Patriots.

If only Big Ben had played like someone else’s little brother in the AFC championship game.

Alan Faneca

Alan Faneca was a six-time All-Pro selection at guard for the Steelers

Former Steelers guard Alan Faneca, a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, is eager for his Hall call, by Chris Adamski.

Chris Boswell

Chris Boswell made eight field goals in three playoff games

The Steelers re-signed kicker Chris Boswell, an exclusive rights free agent who set an NFL postseason record with six field goals in the AFC divisional playoff game at Kansas City, writes Joe Rutter.

I still like the originals the best…

The Penguins unveiled their stadium series uniforms, writes Jonathan Bombulie, but it was the goalie equipment that got all the attention.

Speaking of goalies, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford would prefer to keep both Murray and Fleury but said he would listen to The Flower as the trade deadline approaches, reports JB.

Shawn Watson

Shawn Watson has been offensive coordinator at four Power 5 schools

The day after Signing Day, Pitt announced the hiring of an offensive coordinator in Shawn Watson, reports Jerry DiPaola.


Monessen welterweight Sammy Vasquez Jr. was hoping to return to contender status, before this:

Signing Day Special (plus Pens and Bucs)


Paris Ford

Steel Valley safety Paris Ford tackles Neshannock’s Danny Welker in the WPIAL Class 2A title game

My column on how Paris Ford was the first player to commit to Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class, and the Steel Valley All-American safety remained loyal to and the focus for the Panthers.

Pat Narduzzi

Pitt football coach Pat Narduzzi talks to a recruit on Signing Day

Jerry DiPaola reports on Pitt’s class, which added a four-star running back in A.J. Davis of Lakeland, Fla.

James Franklin

Penn State coach James Franklin

At Penn State, Matt Martell writes about how Central Catholic lineman C.J. Thorpe and Ohio quarterback Sean Clifford lead a Nittany Lions recruiting class that got an early enrollee in Clairton’s Lamont Wade.

Kenny Robinson

Imani Christian’s Kenny Robinson, eluding defenders against Springdale, signed with West Virginia

At West Virginia, David Statman reports that the Mountaineers loaded up on defensive linemen and safeties, including Imani Christian’s Kenny Robinson and Ligonier Valley’s Collin Smith.

Assistant sports editor/high schools Bill Hartlep compiled a list of where the WPIAL players signed and has more WPIAL news on the iPreps blog.

Phil Jurkovec

Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec, a Notre Dame recruit, is the WPIAL’s top prospect for 2018

Chris Harlan writes that Western Pennsylvania’s Class of 2018 features prized prospects, most notably Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec, who is committed to Notre Dame.


Conor Sheary

Conor Sheary ranks third on the Penguins with 17 goals

After a decade-long search to find a homegrown scoring winger to play alongside Sidney Crosby, the Penguins found one in Conor Sheary, writes Jonathan Bombulie. Now, Sheary is out 4-6 weeks with an injury. And, as always, JB has good stuff on the Chipped Ice blog.

Josh Bell

The Pirates could be without first baseman/outfielder Josh Bell for up to a month

The injury bug hit the Pirates, too, as Josh Bell could miss up to a month after having surgery to remove what the team termed a ‘loose body’ from his left knee, reports Rob Biertempfel.

Rooney expects Steelers’ Big Three to be back

Big Ben 1

Steelers president Art Rooney II doesn’t expect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to retire

Steelers president Art Rooney II expects The Big Three to return next season, Joe Rutter reports.

And, in the Steelers notebook, Rooney identified areas where the Steelers need to improve.

sammie coates one-handed catch

Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates has shown good hands at times — such as, when his fingers aren’t broken

On the Steel Mill blog, Chris Adamski writes about Sammie Coates having surgery.

Conor Sheary battles John Carlson

Penguins left wing Conor Sheary battles Capitals defenseman John Carlson for the puck

Jonathan Bombulie writes that the NHL playoff format makes for a tough road for the Penguins and other top Metropolitan teams.

Marc-Andre Fleury deflects puck

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury

And, with his role and future in question, Marc-Andre Fleury is living day to day.

Kris Letang

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang

The Chipped Ice blog suggests that defenseman Kris Letang will return when the Penguins need to be “hard to play against.”

Screenshot 1-31-17

paris ford

Steel Valley’s Paris Ford is one of four Pitt recruits from the WPIAL in the Class of 2017

Jerry DiPaola double dips with Pitt, first providing a look at how the Panthers are targeting football recruits outside the WPIAL.

Then again, Pitt offered a WPIAL prospect in Belle Vernon OT-DT Blake Zubovic:

For your WPIAL-wide National Signing Day primer, check out the iPreps blog.

Kevin Stallings

Pitt basketball coach Kevin Stallings

Meantime, the men’s basketball team was searching for the right mix heading into its game at North Carolina.

Shamiel Stevenson

Hillcrest Prep’s Shamiel Stevenson is Pitt’s fifth recruit from the Class of 2017

In hoops recruiting, Pitt landed a commitment from a Toronto small forward.

And, as I wrote today, the Panthers need an immediate turnaround to snap their six-game losing streak and save their season.

Welcome to Gorman Way

Welcome to Gorman Way, my take on the Pittsburgh sports scene.

My hope is to create a one-stop shop where you can follow the Tribune-Review’s coverage of your favorite teams through my views and the news reported by our sports staff — Joe Rutter and Chris Adamski on Steelers, Jonathan Bombulie and Bill West on Penguins, Rob Biertempfel and Adamski on the Pirates — and photographers Chaz Palla and Chris Horner, as well as the #TribHS sports staff.

The Trib has undergone many changes over the past few months, but you can still find our coverage online at and and in print in the Tribune-Review’s Westmoreland and Valley News Dispatch editions.

If you’re wondering about the name of this blog and the street sign, allow me to explain: My family runs four generations deep in Pittsburgh. My paternal great-grandfather, Matthew Gorman, was a Pittsburgh Police captain who had a street named after him in the Oakland neighborhood (just off the Boulevard of the Allies) where he walked the beat. It’s just a block on a dead-end street, but it’s a source of family pride.

I’m as proud of my family history as I am of my hometown, especially the role my ancestors played in building this city. My paternal grandmother told stories of her father fighting against the Pinkertons in the Homestead Steel Strike. My paternal grandfather worked on the railroad, just across the river from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. My maternal great-grandfather, James Austin, invented Austin’s carpet cleaner and other household cleaning products in the basement of his home on Greenfield Avenue. You might remember the Downtown billboard with the continuously pouring Austin’s A-1 Bleach bottle or recognize the Austin’s “Good.Clean.Done” jingle from television commercials.

These stories were passed down in my Irish-Catholic family, where both parents had seven siblings and I have more than 100 cousins. The storytelling came naturally, as did my love for sports while growing up in the City of Champions in the 1970s. My father, Paul (Ace) Gorman, was a sports fanatic with a degree in journalism who handed down his love for newspapers. My mother, Mary Catherine (Cathy) Moore Gorman, was a legal secretary at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart and Reed Smith who taught us the value of hard work. My younger brother, Brian Gorman, got the brains: He’s a former assistant public defender for Washington County and now executive director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, which serves Washington, Greene, Fayette and Somerset counties.

And I’ve spent two decades covering and writing about sports for newspapers, starting with The Purbalite at Baldwin High School and continuing at The Leader and The Globe at Point Park College and The Daily Collegian at Penn State University and for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, The Dallas Morning News and Kansas City Star. I’ve worked at the Tribune-Review for 17-plus years, covering everything from preps to pros.

While most readers know me from covering high school football and recruiting, I enjoy writing about the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates and Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia and also love to cover boxing and golf as the Trib’s sports columnist. To me, it’s about finding and telling the compelling stories of our sports figures.

Here’s to finding and telling more on Gorman Way.