Dave Podbielski – Coaching
In measuring the success of a coach, we must first measure their life and legacy, what they achieved and how they inspired and enabled others to cultivate their own culture. And that’s just what Dave Podbielski did – he coached and led others to achieve and accomplish their goals and aspirations.
A native of Beaver Falls, Dave Podbielski attended Highland Suburban Junior High and Beaver Falls High School, graduating in 1972. In his sophomore year, Dave played guard as a member of the 1970 Beaver Falls High School WPIAL and PIAA State Championship basketball team that included Hall of Achievement Inductees Oscar Jackson (2012) and Head Coach Frank Chan (2012). After graduating from Penn State in 1977, he began his coaching and teaching careers at New Brighton High School, where he led the Lions to the WPIAL AA Championship over Clairton in 1980. In 1987, he became the head coach of Beaver Falls High School where he followed his high school coach and mentor Frank Chan. In 1994, he led the Tigers to both the WPIAL and PIAA State Championships, becoming the only person in BF history to win the WPIAL and PIAA State Championship as both a player and head coach. In 1996, Dave was named the head basketball coach for the Class AAAA Seneca Valley High School, where he led his son Andy and the Raiders into the WPIAL playoffs in his 1st year there. As a coach, he had 250 career wins before his untimely death in 2002 at the age of 48.
Away from Basketball, Dave continually demonstrated his leadership by contributing to his community. In 1994 he was named The Beaver County Deanery Man of the Year for his Catholic service. He also volunteered his time coaching youth baseball.
The Larry Bruno Foundation is proud to honor (posthumously) Dave Podbielski’s lifelong achievements in coaching, teaching and learning by inducting him into the 2017 Circle of Achievement. His lifelong story and accomplishments will be digitized and enshrined at the Hall of Achievement located at the Carnegie Free Library of Beaver Falls.
Culture played a leading role in Dave’s life, beginning at home with his father and mother who gave him family values that would guide his lifelong achievements. Dave learned many of life’s lessons through his relationships with his older brother Hank and his younger brother Tom. Dave and his wife Kaye continued the family legacy with their two sons, Andy and Steve, and their families. He believed in passing on to others the values he was taught thru his culture. His sons Andy and Steve have followed in Dave’s footsteps. To this day, Andy continues to successfully teach and coach the lessons he learned from his father and his culture.