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Spielman still 'has gas left in the tank'

Hancock's former longtime boys basketball coach will return to his post with the Panthers

May 15, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

HANCOCK -- Jeff Spielman will add more numbers to his career coaching mark.

After a hiatus from coaching basketball, Spielman will return as head coach of the Hancock boys team, a position he held for 20 seasons before announcing his retirement following the 2005 campaign.

Hancock Middle-Senior High School Principal Eric Michael made the announcement of Spielman's return, somewhat of a full circle for the twosome.

Michael, who will become the Washington County Public Schools Supervisor of Athletics, Health and Physical Education on July 1, played for Spielman at Hancock when Spielman took over the boys team in 1985.

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"It's strange how things work out over time," said Spielman, who posted a 210-239 record at Hancock and is 237-300 overall, including his four years at Clear Spring. "It's a unique situation."

Spielman, who also coaches track and field and cross country at Hancock, has been a Jack of all trades for the Panthers, also having coached football.

"Honestly, I wasn't sure I was making the right choice to retire from basketball," said Spielman, who will turn 60 in August. "It's just like I took a break. I had put a lot of work into it in the last two years working with the talent we had."

Spielman succeeds Ron Hose, who posted a 25-86 record during his tenure at Hancock.

"I didn't miss the game that much the first year away but started to get the itch the following year," he said. "Coaching is my life. I'll be around (Hancock) forever."

Spielman said he is in good health and is ready for his second go-around.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of bringing in a new system and get some attitudes about the game changed," he said. "I want to get us back to 'not expecting to lose, but we can win.'"

The Panthers will open the 2010-11 campaign on Dec. 10 at Clear Spring, which will also mark the home debut of new Blazers coach Ryan Grabill.

"We had very good candidates for the job but I feel good about the success (Coach Spielman) had in his 20 years here," said Hancock Athletic Director Bill Sterner. "He will bring energy, and I know he has gas left in the tank."

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