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Star Coaches

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine

Lisa Gedaka (pictured)
Gloucester City
Gedaka, a former star basketball player at Gloucester Catholic and the longtime head coach at her alma mater, reached a major milestone in February when the Rams topped Deptford for her 500th career win. The victory was even more special because Gedaka’s daughter, Mary, played a major role with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Gedaka’s career record stands at 505-155 after she led the Rams to a 26-4 season that ended in the South Jersey Non-Public A championship game.

Tom McCormack
Head coach of Gloucester County College’s women’s basketball team, McCormack recently reached a milestone 200th career win after his Roadrunners defeated Atlantic Cape College. Throughout McCormack’s career, he has coached his team through various regional and national playoff games as head coach, worked with various NJCAA All-American players and has received the Russell Athletic District Coach of the Year and Region XIX Coach of the Year award during his tenure.

Tanya Dargusch
Washington Township
Dargusch, the athletic trainer at Washington Township High School, was recently elected to the position of chair of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association District Secretary Treasurer’s Committee. Throughout the United States, the Trainer’s Association monitors 10 different districts, each with their own executive board. Dargusch will be responsible for assisting in member services, national leadership decisions and best practices for district organizations.

Hamisi Tarrant
Cherry Hill
Tarrant coached the Cherry Hill West boys basketball team to its 65-45 win over Shawnee, a win that clinched the Olympic Conference Patriot Division title. It also signified the Lions’ first divisional title in 19 years. The team went on to win its first playoff game—since 1988—in a 43-34 game against Clearview during the first round of South Jersey Group IV.

Russ Minuto
Mount Laurel
Minuto, former longtime wrestling coach at Lenape High School and the third winningest coach in South Jersey wrestling history with 303 wins, will be honored by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with their Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award, a recognition reserved for someone who “has a special place in the heritage of the sport.” He will receive the award at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Oklahoma in September.

Kurt Barbera
Under the guidance of Barbera, the Voorhees 8th Grade A boys team came in first in their division of the South Jersey Basketball League after a 73-64 win over Medford. Barbera led them through a perfect 16-0 season that included games against 11 other teams across South Jersey.

Craig Barlow and the Marlton Wrestling Coaching Staff
Head coach Barlow and his staff led the young athletes of Marlton Wrestling to one of their most successful events yet—winning a whopping 21 medals at the 2014 Best of the Best league tournament in February. After sending just 19 wrestlers to the event last year, it was especially impressive to see the amount of medals earned by this year’s group of 30.

Bill Rutherford, Kevin Halfpenny and Rob Litwin
Mount Laurel
Rutherford, along with assistants Halfpenny and Litwin, coached the Mount Laurel fifth-grade girls travel team through a clean sweep 19-0 season. The team played this season in the ICBL travel league and won the Junior Div. III championship in a game earlier this month against Delran, 24-21. The win at Harrington Middle School capped a season that included 443 points for and only 195 against.

Paul Wiedeman
Wiedeman grew up watching his father Dave coach the Haddonfield High School boys basketball team and even played for his dad, helping the Bulldawgs to a state championship in 1989. Now he’s the one calling the shots on the bench, and this year he passed his father for most career victories at the school. Wiedeman earned his 332nd career win with a victory over Audubon and led the Bulldawgs to a 28-1 season as they didn’t suffer their first loss until falling to Camden in the South Jersey Group II semifinals. His career record now stands at 350-83.

Chuck Schwartz
Schwartz led the Medford Memorial Middle School wrestling team to its second straight undefeated season in the South Jersey Middle School Wrestling League. The squad was perfect throughout the regular season, including a 5-0 mark in the Liberty Division, before defeating Carusi and Delran in the playoffs to advance to the championship match. Medford held off Collingswood in a thrilling final, 46-43, to claim the league title.

Ann Rychlik
Rychlik guided the Cherokee High School girls swimming team to its first sectional title since 1983 as the Chiefs held off Clearview in the final event to win the South Public A title in February. Leading by a slim margin heading into the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Jamie Bowe, Morgan Sage, Emily Werth and Isabel Obregon won the event to clinch the championship for the Chiefs. Rychlik’s squad reached the final by handing rival Shawnee its first loss of the season in the semifinals.

Jeff DeNick
Under the leadership of DeNick, the boys swim team followed up their third-straight divisional title earlier this winter with their first state crown since 1999. Though the 87-83 victory over Princeton ended a 15-year drought, the close match—decided only after the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay—is Moorestown’s 19th championship title.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March, 2014).
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