HERMITAGE – In a sense, Dustin Golub has been given the keys to the kingdom – the Kennedy Catholic cage kingdom.
Thursday, Golub was named boys’ basketball coach at the perennial PIAA powerhouse, which has produced 10 commonwealth crowns.
But this will be the first scholastic varsity head-coaching position for the 35-year-old Golub, who attended Kennedy Catholic for 2 years. He succeeds Rick Mancino, who resigned last month.
The Golden Eagles ended 218-66 (76.7 percent) during Mancino’s 11-year tenure. Included were 4 consecutive commonwealth crowns atop the PIAA pedestal – the last, 2019, in Class 6A.
However, Kennedy Catholic is coming off an injury-and defections-ravaged 13-10 season that concluded in a District 10 Class 6A semifinals setback to Erie. That snapped a 5-year reign (4 in Class 1A, another in 6A) atop D-10. Overall, KC’s proud program has captured 27 district crowns.
“It feels great. It’s exciting! I think we’re gonna continue this tradition here of what Kennedy has always offered, and look forward to keepin’ this movin’ here,” Golub said via phone. “I’ve had a lot of experience coaching with the AAU circuit, and a lot of private lessons and that type of thing,” related Golub. “But this is gonna be, basically, my first high school (coaching) experience.
“But I’m lookin’ at it as a positive, honestly,” Golub emphasized. “A lot of people have been assistants under many coaches and they take up that style of coaching, and that’s great. But I’m looking for a lot of help from my assistants, who’ve been prior coaches and players. ... We’re gonna take everybody’s input, and my assistant coaches are gonna have a lot of input.
“And this being new to me, it’s also for the players, even the players who’ve been in that program two, three years,” Golub continued. “We’re gonna try and implement what Coach Mancino was doin’ before, and maybe implement some of the things the players want to do. So, honestly, I’m lookin’ at it as a positive and I’m really excited to get movin’ and get a lot of input from my staff, which is tremendous.”
Golub assistants will include Ryan Anderton, former Franklin High standout under legendary Bill Hager; former Farrell High star Myron Lowe, and Gary Satterwhite, a Kennedy Catholic product who played a part in several Golden Eagles’ gold medal-winning teams.
“I’ll rely on my assistants to see what they want to do (schematically). Do we want to run-n-gun? Do we want to shoot fifty ‘threes’ a game? Or do we want to slow the tempo down and grind the games out? That’s something we’re gonna have to see what we want to do,” Golub explained.
Versatile, multi-sport athletes will be given Golub’s green light because he believes, as teen-agers, they should “have fun.
“I’ve gotta make this fun,” Golub emphasized, later adding, “We’ve got to do something to get these kids back in the gym. And, honestly, that begins at the youth level. So we’ve gotta do something to build that youth program back up, and that’s what I’m really lookin’ to do, is build that youth level back up.
“Ten, twelve, fifteen years ago that’s where the (Kennedy Catholic players) were coming from,” Golub continued, referencing area parochial elementary-school programs. “We’ve gotta do something ... to get these kids back and wanting to play sports.”
Now a Hermitage resident, Golub graduated from Sharon High in 2003. According to available archives at The Herald, as a 6-foot-2 combo guard he scored 302 points (tying for the Tigers’ team high) for a Sharon squad that won the D-10 Class AAA tournament consolation contest over Strong Vincent, then posted a PIAA playoff win over Bradford. Sharon suffered a setback to Hopewell in the quarterfinals, concluding a 20-8 campaign. Anderton served as an assistant at Sharon while Golub played there.
Golub transferred from Kennedy Catholic, where he was a sophomore on the 2000-01 PIAA Class A championship team for which Satterwhite, then a senior, served as one of the leaders. Those Golden Eagles ended 27-5, routing Fairfield as KC captured its 4th consecutive commonwealth crown.
“As far as athletics and academics, it was great,” recalled Golub, regarding his KC days. “At that time Coach Joe Votino was there. It was a good culture, it was a winning culture. And we want to keep that moving, just like Rick did. I want to make sure the academics are there for the students. ... If some of these players want to continue as a collegiate athlete, we want to try and help them do that. That’s what it’s all about – ‘student-athlete,’ so it’s grades first, sports, second. ... That’s my goal, to try and help them further their career.”
Golub matriculated at perennial prep powerhouse Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Virginia), then continued his playing career when he transferred to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ultimately, he earned a business administration degree from Penn State University. He is owner/proprietor of Penn-Ohio Roofing & Siding Group and the father of sons Roman, 11; Nolan, 10, and Dustin, 5. While speaking Thursday afternoon, Golub was with his sons at an AAU baseball tournament in Maryland.
“Dustin understands the legacy of Kennedy Catholic basketball, and we are excited to welcome him and his family to our’s,” Athletic Director John Niemi said in a statement.