Gateway went to the top of the WPIAL basketball mountain under Mitch Adams, but Adams’ tenure ended abruptly Sunday amidst the coach facing charges of harassment and making terroristic threats.
Adams, who won the only two WPIAL boys championships in Gateway history, resigned after nine years as coach. He called athletic director Randy Rovesti to inform him of his decision. Adams also sent a text message to Gateway’s players.
Adams, 56, was charged by Trafford police last month with harassment and making terroristic threats to a neighbor after an incident near Adams’ home. Adams faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 23 before District Judge Helen Kistler.
“He has some health issues, too, and I think that played a factor into him stepping down,” Rovesti said. “I’m sure this incident played a role in it, too.”
Adams told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Saturday he is innocent of the charges, but this isn’t the first time he has had a brush with the law in his coaching years. In April 2013, he was charged by Irwin police with driving under the influence. He was admitted into Westmoreland County’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program in September 2013 and was released from the program in June 2014. ARD is a probationary program for first-time offenders that eventually allows their records to be expunged.
Also, earlier this year, some parents of basketball players approached school officials to complain about Adams allegedly using abusive language toward players. Gateway still re-hired Adams earlier this summer.
Adams is not a teacher at Gateway. He owns a trophy and sporting goods store in Trafford.
Adams won two WPIAL titles in 2011-12. Also in 2011, Gateway won an outright section title for the first time since 1965. Adams had a 134-88 record in nine seasons. He also spent time at Gateway as a football assistant and basketball assistant coach.
“I think he was a coach of one kind or another for more than 30 years,” Rovesti said. “We appreciate his years of service at Gateway.”
For more on high school sports, read Varsity Blog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.
First Published August 24, 2014 2:37 PM