Greensburg Salem grad Klimchock named full-time assistant at Penn State Behrend
Chris Klimchock will always be remembered for the game-winning basket his senior season at Greensburg Salem that lifted the Golden Lions to an upset over Chartiers Valley in the PIAA Class AAA second round in 2009.
That’s when Klimchock, with the scored tied, drove the length of the court and hit a floater down the lane at the buzzer to stun the Colts, 68-66, and friend T.J. McConnell.
“Every player dreams of hitting a game-winning shot,” Klimchock said. “I’ll never forget that game or feeling.
“Every year at that time I think about what we did as a team for the school and the City of Greensburg. Not too many teams get a chance to play in the state championship game.”
Greensburg Salem’s coach at the time, Paul Sapotichne, said when Klimchock drove past midcourt with 3.9 seconds left, he knew he had time to get to the basket. When Klimchock put up the shot at Gateway, everyone stood and watched in amazement.
The win helped the Golden Lions reach the state finals for the first time after one-point wins against Farrell, the District 10 champion, in the quarterfinals and WPIAL champion Hampton in the semifinals. Greensburg Salem lost to District 12 champion Archbishop Carroll in the title game.
Klimchock will take that wealth of basketball knowledge as a player and coach to Erie and Penn State Behrend. He was named men’s basketball assistant coach after the college elevated him to full-time status. Klimchock was a graduate assistant the past two seasons while he earned his masters of business administration.
“It means a lot for them to hire me as a full-time coach,” Klimchock said. “I’m excited to work with a great group of guys.
“I’ll continue to recruit potential student-athletes and assisting the coach on scouting, working with the guards at practice and doing the day-to-day tasks of an assistant.”
Klimchock is a 2014 graduate of Saint Vincent where he was two-year starter, captain and first-team All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference selection. He spent the first two years of his college career at Edinboro, where he was a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week and two-year letter winner.
Klimchock graduated with a bachelor of science in psychology and went on to earn a master of science in organizational and professional communication from Regis College in May 2016.
Klimchock spent one season as a student assistant coach at Saint Vincent and was an assistant coach for two years at Regis. He also worked at numerous basketball camps and was a member of the Hoop Group Elite staff at Albright College.
He follows in his father’s (Rick) shoes in the coaching ranks. His dad, the current Greensburg Salem girls coach, coached the Saltsburg (1990-91) and Jeannette (1992-2006) boys, the Franklin Regional girls (2012-15) and was an assistant at Greensburg Central Catholic (2017) and Saint Vincent (2007-08). He also coached football and track.