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Bishop Shanahan’s Heisman is second Philly coach to earn 500 wins

Saturday, 9th April 2022

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 4/9/22

Jon Heisman

Bishop Shanahan veteran coach Jon Heisman earned his 500th win as a head coach Friday when his Eagles claimed a 14-0 victory over host Mifflin County in Lewistown, PA.

Heisman, who has been a head coach in the region since 1989, joins La Salle’s Bill Leahy as the only two coaches in PA boys’ history to reach the 500-win plateau in state games. Leahy had 512 wins from 1992-2019.

Heisman – a member of the Eastern PA Chapter of the USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame who owns three PA state titles – also has coached at Springfield-Delco and West Chester East.

In Friday’s game the Eagles’ attack was led by Colin Gaffney (3G, 2A), Joe Devine (3G), Devin Mullen (2G, 2A)
AJ Boffa (2G, 1A), and Nate Phillis (2G, 1A).

Heisman ‘s Eagles (5-0) are on a Central PA trip and play at Bellefonte today.

Another PA head coach, John Nostrant, earned 500 wins in his scholastic career, nearly all at Haverford School, with the rest at Gilman School (MD) and St. Albans (D.C.).

Heisman began his coaching career at Ithaca College as a grad assistant in 1982 when he coached the JV. He began his Philly career in 1983 as an assistant at Episcopal Academy under Hall of Fame coach John Wynne.

Heisman then was an assistant at West Chester East for 5 years and helped the Vikings win the 1988 state crown (then called the Avery F. Blake Memorial Trophy winner). That WC East squad went undefeated.

Heisman then took over a powerhouse program at Springfield-Delco and won a state crown in 1992 while reaching the finals 3 other years. Heisman coached greats such as Drew Adams, Greg Gurenlian (both of whom were inducted into the Eastern PA Hall of Fame last fall), college and pro All-American Kyle Sweeney (Georgetown) and John Brasko (Johns Hopkins, Loyola) . Heisman was at Springfield-Delco for 14 years.

Heisman then took over at West Chester East following a year there as an assistant and in his last year there, in 2009, his squad advanced to the first PIAA tournament. He was 94-28 in his tenure at WC East.

Since then, Heisman has been at Shanahan, which won the Class AA District 1 and PIAA crowns in 2018 and 2019.

“You can’t do this without good kids and good families and certainly without a good coaching staff,” Heisman said. “Paul Meyers has been with me for 25 years and actually won his 400th game! I’ve had a great staff, many that come back year after year. That’s a Godsend. It’s been a great run.”

Heisman said working under Wynne was a great model and that coaching in the Central League was an honor with the competition and talent teams faced on a regular basis.

“Every year, no matter what, every game was tough,” he said. “We had marvelous kids at Springfield and i was very fortunate to coach there.”



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