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Heisman cites family reasons for leaving WC East to take head coaching job at Bishop Shanahan

Friday, 11th September 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, Features, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 9/11/09

Jon Heisman said Thursday he decided to resign as coach at Ches-Mont League power West Chester East to take over a young Bishop Shanahan program for family reasons.

Heisman, who claimed most of has 312 career wins at Springfield-Delco, will get to coach his two youngest sons in the coming years at Shanahan. His third son, Ethan, is a senior at neighboring Henderson.

“This was more of a family and personal move,” said Heisman, who still teaches at East. “My son is a ninth grader at (Bishop Shanahan) and I will be reunited with him.

“I didn’t get the chance to (coach Ethan); I had to coach against him. I will have to coach against him for one more year, but at least I’ll be with my middle son. And I have another son coming up.”

Heisman, who is replacing Bob Peppelman, said it was difficult to leave the job at East. He posted a 94-28 record in six seasons, and last year he guided the Vikings to a berth in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association championships.

Heisman’s teams at East won the Suburban League crowns in 2004 and 2005, when he was named Pennsylvania Coach of the Year. He also helps run Black Bear Lacrosse Club where he coaches many players from the three West Chester high schools as well as Shanahan.

“I’m still teaching at East, it’s my home,” said Heisman, a Henderson grad. “I just switched jobs.

“I look back at my years at East very fondly. A had a lot of great kids there, and we had a lot of success. I had a great time with everybody.

“I have already contacted all the kids at East, and I let them know I would help with the recruiting process. A lot of these kids play for me at Black Bear; it wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it was the time to do it.”

Peppelman was a well-respected coach, who posted a solid 72-72 mark in eight years at Shanahan. Ironically, Peppelman, who has built a strong feeder program for Shanahan and surrounding schools at St. Joseph’s CYO, will make Heisman’s job much easier.

“Honestly, I will be trying to start a tradition there,” Heisman said of the challenge of coaching at a Catholic school. “I really believe the sky is the limit. I think if we get the tradition going, a few other kids here and there will come.

“It takes a little time; it’s going to be a challenge. I am looking forward to it. I am not saying I’m at the end of my career, but I’m not getting any younger.”

Heisman, a first-team All-American defenseman and captain at Ithaca College in his playing days, led Springfield-Delco to the state championship in 1992. He also lost in the state finals three times (1994, ’96, 97) and reached the state semifinals six times.

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