MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — He’s been teaching young players the ins and outs of the game he loves for many years now, but this basketball season will be his last as Mount Pleasant High School’s head coach was diagnosed with cancer late last year.
With 49 seasons of experience, boy’s basketball coach Tom Traynor has seen both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, but there is one opponent he may not ever be able to beat.
“I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the day before Thanksgiving and it’s been a rather emotional ride,” said Traynor.
Heading into his 16th post season playoff run, Coach Traynor was focused on a win over Trinity on Friday night, but never far from his thoughts was the reality that it could be the last game he ever coaches.
“I’ve been tremendously blessed by my coaching experience, the people around me, the people I’ve worked for,” said Traynor. “It’s just been wonderful.”
Even though the 70-year-old coach will retire after Mount Pleasant’s final game, the indelible impact he has had on so many players and there families will forever remain.
“He’s really dedicated at what he does and he’ll always support you even if you make a bad decision or something,” said Luke Czerniak, one of Coach Traynor’s current players. “He’ll always be there for you.”
In the end, Mount Pleasant lost to Trinity, marking the end of Traynor’s coach career. However, he says he is now looking forward to spending more time with his wife and grandchildren.