NEW CASTLE —
Coaching runs in Ondako’s roots. He was an assistant under his father, Larry, at Leechburg High School and helped his mother, Julia, coach soccer teams.
“I think the biggest thing is my dad coached for 35 years. I’ve been coaching with his teams and watching him coach and observing the coaches I’ve had forever. I want to say you’re born to coach, but if you’re a coach it’s in you.”
Ondako brings 18 years of coaching experience, 15 of which he spent at Westminster, to the Lady Scots program. The team performed well under former coach Fadden last year, finishing the season 11-11 but losing to Winchester Thurston in the WPIAL Class A first-round, 45-36.
“I think it’s going to be a great fit with our kids and certainly for Larry. He’s full of energy,” Union athletic director Bob Natale said.
“His experience stood out to me. He was 15 years at Westminster. He comes from a family of coaches — his dad was a coach and his mom was a coach. His personality won you over. It suited me very well.”
Ondako’s goal won’t change much, despite going from coaching a group of college men to a team of high school girls. In fact, he already has met with his new team to give them an idea of what to expect.
“I think that’s the biggest thing and the very first thing I told my girls when I met with them,” Ondako said. “I’m not going to come down and wave some magic wand because I coached at the collegiate level. I kind of used the ‘Hoosiers’ line with them that the hoop is still 10 feet tall. There’s not a whole lot that changes. In the end, it’s just coaching basketball to me.