"Attitude is everything" was a motto Wilbur R. Trosch, former West Mifflin Area High School head basketball coach, used often. His positive attitude toward family, friends, coaching and teaching is something few will forget.
Mr. Trosch, 75, of Fishers, Ind., died Monday in Indiana.
He excelled in academics and athletics while at Clairton High School. His high school basketball prowess earned him a scholarship from St. Francis University in Loretto, Cambria County. Mr. Trosch was 6-foot-8, a height that inspired his nickname, "Tree."
He led St. Francis to a 54-19 record during his three years of eligibility from 1957-60. During his senior year, he was named captain by his teammates. He averaged 22 points per game and 11 rebounds in his senior season. He is the 12th all-time leading scorer and sixth all-time leading rebounder in St. Francis' men's basketball history.
The 1958 St. Francis squad, led by Mr. Trosch, was the only team in school history to be invited to play in the National Invitation Tournament. Mr. Trosch was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Francis University Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was drafted 13th overall by the Syracuse Nationals in the 1960 NBA draft. According to the St. Francis website, he decided not to go to the NBA but instead to devote his knowledge and skills to a 30-year coaching and teaching career at West Mifflin High School.
"He was a West Mifflin guy who represented the school in a first-class way," said Lance Maha, West Mifflin's current head basketball coach and a former player for Mr. Trosch. "He was always there for kids on and off the floor. He helped kids behind the scenes with getting into college, academic issues or family issues. I want to continue the trend of what he did off the floor, model myself like that."
"For as big as his stature was he was that big of a person," said Joe Esper, a close friend and former coach with Mr. Trosch. "I don't know anybody who wouldn't like Wilbur Trosch. The kids loved him, and he loved the kids. He left a lasting impression."
Mr. Trosch is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carmella; sons Daniel and Eric; daughter Sandy Walsh; a brother, Thomas; and six grandchildren.
A service will be held this summer in West Mifflin. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the funeral at 11:30 a.m. today at Shirley Bros. Mortuaries, Fishers-Castleton Chapel, Fishers, Ind.
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