ShareThis Page
New Castle superintendent Sarandrea takes place on WPIAL Board of Directors |

New Castle superintendent Sarandrea takes place on WPIAL Board of Directors

Barry L. Reeger | For the Tribune-Review
Former New Castle High School boys basketball coach John Sarandrea, pictured in 1998, sends in some instruction from the bench during his team's victory over Shaler.

There was a time when John Sarandrea was a polarizing figure in the WPIAL.

The former New Castle boys basketball coach won four titles and more than 300 games with the Red Hurricanes, but also drew his share of scrutiny from the WPIAL, especially when two star players transferred from Texas in the early 1990s.

But times change, and Sarandrea will have his own seat on the WPIAL Board of Directors starting next month.

“It’s kind of come full circle, hasn’t it?” said Sarandrea, who recently finished his fourth year as New Castle’s superintendent.

Sarandrea retired as New Castle’s coach in 2007 after 15 seasons, but also served the district as an English teacher before joining the school’s administration as a principal. He served as Sharon’s superintendent from 2007-13.

His combination of professional experience and WPIAL knowledge made him an intriguing addition to the WPIAL board, which keeps one seat reserved for a superintendent.

“Obviously, I was here for some transfers and things of that nature, so I have that experience,” he said Monday at the WPIAL office in Green Tree. “I have the experience of coaching, 20 years as an administrator and 10 as a superintendent.

“I think I look at things through a different lens than I did 25 years ago, and that’s a good thing.”

Sarandrea replaces Burrell superintendent Shannon Wagner, whose two-year term on the board expires this month. The seat rotates among the six intermediate units in WPIAL territory.

Wagner represented Westmoreland County administrators. Lawrence and Butler county superintendents voted to nominate Sarandrea.

“I think I bring a lot of different experiences from both the academic and athletic side of things,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning, and I’m looking forward to participating.”

The WPIAL board also will have a new member representing athletic directors when Baldwin’s Vince Sortino replaces West Allegheny’s Dave McBain on July 1.

Sortino has served as Baldwin’s AD since 2006. He has worked more than 25 years in the district, where he started as a special education teacher. At different times during his tenure, Sortino served as head coach for softball, boys soccer and girls and boys basketball. He also was an assistant football coach.

Sortino is treasurer of the WPIAL athletic directors executive committee and chairman of the WPIAL softball steering committee.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @CHarlan_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.