Joe Urmann calls Mt. Lebanon boys basketball coach Joe David “one of the hardest-working, best men I’ve known.”
Now, Urmann will be trying beat David twice a year.
After spending the past four seasons as an assistant with Mt. Lebanon’s successful program, the 27-year-old Urmann will get his first experience as a varsity head coach with Baldwin this winter. The Baldwin-Whitehall school board voted, 7-1, Wednesday night to hire Urmann as the Highlanders’ new coach.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity,” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine for years to be a high school coach at the highest level.”
As for facing his old boss in Section 4 play?
“It’ll be fun, and I’m sure a little challenging on that day,” Urmann said with a laugh. “It’ll be a little extra emotional. … Without a doubt, Coach David has been in many ways a mentor to me. Even off the court, he’s done a lot for me. He’s very happy for me.”
Urmann, who is a middle school teacher in the Mt. Lebanon School District, was on the bench when the Blue Devils appeared in the state title game last season and for their WPIAL championship victory in 2010. He is a 2002 graduate of District 9 Elk County Catholic and attended IUP for undergrad before completing his master’s degree at Robert Morris.
This is the first new coach for Baldwin in quite some time. Kyle DeGregorio had led the Highlanders for nine seasons before having his position opened following last year’s 9-13 season.
Baldwin also has a new girls basketball coach — Gavin Prosser, who graduated from the South Hills school in 2003 and was a star player for the Highlanders.