Retired hall-of-fame Baldwin coach lauds new championship volleyball team
One of the many interested spectators at the WPIAL Class AAA championshp match Saturday was a familiar face to Baldwin volleyball.
Paul Hindes, the all-time winningest coach in Baldwin High School history, was in attendance.
Hines won 16 WPIAL championships during a distinguished career at Baldwin from 1971 to 2007 — eight in softball, five in girls’ volleyball and three in basketball.
He coached Baldwin girls’ volleyball teams from 1977 to 1992 and won five WPIAL championships in seven seasons. He also won three state volleyball titles.
I caught up with Hindes, who has been inducted into both the WPIAL and state halls of fame, following Baldwin’s dramatic 3-2 victory over North Allegheny in this year’s WPIAL girls’ volleyball finals.
What are your thoughts on Baldwin’s performance against North Allegheny?
“This was another one of those classic battles against North Allegheny,” Hindes said. “I took a couple of moments and closed my eyes and realized that nothing had changed — a packed gym filled with students and parents passionately cheering on their team, just like the Purple Wave of the past.”
Did Baldwin’s performance bring back any fond memories?
“I had an opportunity to sit with and talk to former players and parents who attended,” Hindes said. “We all agreed that this was another Baldwin team that played tough, smart and together.
“We noticed the character, enthusiasm and intensity, and in the moments of truth they certainly displayed the killer instinct required to win championships.”
Does the 2014 Baldwin team remind you of any of your teams at Baldwin?
“Just like the past champions and great teams,” Hindes said, “this 2014 team will go to sleep every night and wake up every morning knowing that the price they have paid is rewarded and that they are champions.
“That is something special because the champion lives inside you forever. This night was filled with wonderful moments and memories now to be shared with another great team.”
Finally, coach, any words of advice for this year’s Baldwin team?
“On behalf of all the coaches, players and parents from the past, we congratulate the 2014 Baldwin WPIAL championship coaches, players and parents, and welcome them to the Baldwin volleyball legacy of a tradition of excellence,” Hindes said.
“We challenge you to continue this championship journey because the only thing better than (winning) one is to win even more. Why not!”
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or [email protected].