Gorman: Wade’s win a WPIAL first |

Gorman: Wade’s win a WPIAL first

That an historic moment in Western Pennsylvania prep history was but a footnote at the WPIAL football finals shouldn’t be seen as a slight.

When Wayne Wade led Clairton to the WPIAL Class A title Friday, he was believed to have become the first African-American coach to win a WPIAL football championship.

Problem was, no one was certain if another black coach had accomplished the feat.

The league, which doesn’t keep records, is celebrating 100 years of crowning football champions. There is no recollection of a black coach winning a title since the WPIAL playoffs started in 1971, and it appears unlikely a black coach would have won one before then.

In the past 15 years, three black coaches have had teams lose in the WPIAL finals: Keith Humphries (Beaver Falls, 2001), Terry Smith (Gateway, ’04, ’07-09) and Roy Hall (Jeannette, ’11).

Wade was aware of the possibility of his first prior to the Bears’ 46-14 win over Avonworth.

“For African-Americans, anytime you’re the first doing something it’s an accomplishment,” Wade said. “It says that, as a people, we’re going in the right direction, that things have changed. I’m definitely honored to be the first.”

Wade, 42, already was the first black coach in Clairton history, but he was fired after a 4-5 season in 2001. It was gratifying for Wade to win the WPIAL in the first year of his second stint at his alma mater, and he wants to wear the title with honor.

“It’s not added pressure,” Wade said, “but I have to be more cognizant of what I am doing and how I’m influencing people.”

Wade hopes to make more history. He has no plans for this first to be his last at Clairton.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.