Jeff Onushco has been promoted as the new Head Coach of Penn State Hazleton Women’s Basketball. During a tumultuous fall of 2020 that saw first a postponed and then cancelation of the basketball season, Coach “O” remained steadfast at the helm, supporting the student-athletes in the program with instruction, guidance and leadership. “Jeff’s commitment to our current roster and the future of the program has been exemplary”, said Director of Athletics Patrice Lombard. “We’re excited to officially extend the head coaching position to him and can’t wait to see where he takes the program in 2021-22.”
Jeff Onushco joined the Penn State Hazleton staff as the assistant coach in 2018 with over 30 years of coaching experience at the high school, AAU and collegiate levels. After seven years coaching girls basketball at Tamaqua Area High School, Jeff moved on to become the Assistant Girls Basketball Coach at Marian Catholic where he was a staple in the coaching ranks for 22 seasons. During that time Marian Catholic went on to win four Schuylkill League championships, four Eastern Pennsylvania titles, five district championships and one PIAA state title. Off the court Jeff has worked as a mental health technician at KidsPeace Residential Facility in Orefield, Pa. for nearly 20 years.
Jeff got into coaching based on his love of the game and the life lessons inherent to the sport. He’ll now look to impart those lessons on future players as the Head Coach of the Nittany Lions while molding the program back into a perennial contender. “I believe in making the game fun for players but we’re also going to put in the hard work necessary to play at a high level, “ stated Onushco.”My goal is to help our players get better every day, maximize our potential in and out of the classroom and give the players a great experience as student-athletes.”
On the court, Onushco’s philosophy is simple. “Defense wins championships”, said Onuscho. “We’re going to focus on putting pressure on our opponents, forcing mistakes and taking advantage of those opportunities.” Offensively we’ll look to play and up-tempo game, but we also need to have the versatility and discipline to slow the game down and have success in the half-court game whenever we need to. “
With the 2020-21 winter sports season canceled due to the pandemic, Onushuco will focus on small group and individual workouts with current players for the remainder of the spring semester. In addition, Coach “O” has been hitting the recruiting trail hard as we look ahead for a fresh start in the world of athletics in the fall of 2021.