Last Updated: Fri Jan 13, 2023 - 11:50AM
Less than a decade after he was suiting up for Hempfield Area on Friday nights, Ty George will now be patrolling the sidelines in charge of Greensburg Salem football.
George, who had served as an assistant coach for the past three campaigns with the Golden Lions, was approved as the head coach on Wednesday. He replaces Dave Keefer, who stepped down in November after 10 years guiding Greensburg Salem.
“(I) just got so much support - different family members and friends and people within the community congratulating me,” George stated. “It meant a lot. It was a really touching night, and something I’m going to remember for a long time.”
As a player, George thrived as a quarterback for the Spartans, serving as the primary signalcaller for three campaigns. Following his graduation in 2014, he continued his career nearby at Seton Hill University, although he shifted to receiver. In four seasons with the Griffins, he caught 63 passes for 716 yards and seven touchdowns.
After his playing career concluded, George returned to his alma mater, joining Rich Bowen’s staff at Hempfield Area. Holding a teaching position at Greensburg Salem, though, George jumped to the Golden Lions coaching staff for the 2020 season.
The opportunity to learn under both Bowen and Keefer was vital for George in his development as a coach.
“They’ve always been willing to help and offer advice, whether it’s on or off the field, so I can’t thank them enough for how much they’ve taught me in such a short time,” he noted.
George now inherits a team that has one of the richest traditions in WPIAL football history, with over 700 wins. However, the Golden Lions have sputtered in recent years, including going 4-6 and missing the postseason in 2022.
Greensburg Salem last qualified for the playoffs in 2019, but the Golden Lions have not won a postseason contest since 2000, before George even began elementary school.
“We’re trying to get over that hump. We’re trying to get the kids to get into that mentality and mindset that that’s our new standard, that’s our new expectation,” George said of his goals for the program.
“I’m going to be all-in on this. This, for me, is somewhere I want to be and I kind of want to leave our footprint,” he added.
George also currently serves as an assistant coach for the Greensburg Salem boys basketball team.