80 years of lebo sports

1998 State Championship team

The Mt. Lebanon Blue Devil Club will honor 80 years of Mt. Lebanon High School athletics at a fund-raiser to benefit the athletic department and the Hall of Champions, Saturday, November 25, at the Circuit Center and Ballroom on Pittsburgh’s South Side. The highlight of the evening will be the formal induction of the champion athletes, whose pictures are featured in the hall. Many will be in attendance.

Framed pictures of the individual athletes and teams who claimed WPIAL, PIAA, and All-State honors dating back to the 1950s formerly hung outside the South gym in the old high school. The new Hall of Champions has a prominent location in the high school athletic department complex. It is organized by decade with scans of the original pictures applied directly to the walls using a material that can easily be repaired if damaged.

The Blue Devil Club sees many interesting ways of expanding the Hall, as well as boosting the athletic department. With that goal, the club is launching the November event, which members hope can become an annual fundraiser, as well as an opportunity for all Lebo athletes—not just those on the wall—to get together and support Mt. Lebanon sports.

On the committee for the event are Alex Needles, Stacey Franklin, Dale Cable, Bob Schilken, Bill Lewis, Athletic Director John Grogan, Dean of Students Carlie McGinty and Communications Director Cissy Bowman.

For some former athletes, the celebration will start earlier that day when the Hall of Champions is formally dedicated at 10 a.m. and iconic Lebo Basketball Coach Dick Black will be honored at 11 a.m. with a plaque commemorating his winning career.

Black coached Mt. Lebanon for 35 seasons, from 1961 to 1996, and had a record of 620 wins and 251 losses with 13 seasons of more than 20 wins or more, 18 section titles and 2 PIAA Final Four appearances. He led the 1961-62 team to Mt. Lebanon’s first WPIAL championship in his first season coaching, and was named Pennsylvania Coach of the Year in 1968. The 1961-62 team’s WPIAL team is among Black’s most treasured moments, according to his son, David, Mt. Lebanon’s ninth-grade basketball coach. A picture of Coach Black celebrating that win with his team,  which was featured on the cover of this magazine in  2010, will be on the plaque. It will hang near a plaque honoring late great wresting coach George Lamprinakos. Black and his wife, Betty, who still live in Mt. Lebanon, will be on hand for the presentation along with former players. The morning event is free and open to all who are interested. For information, contact Dale Cable, cablelaw22@gmail.com.

Tickets for the evening party at the Circuit Center and Ballroom, which will include cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment, are $90. Send checks made payable to the Blue Devil Club to Stacey Franklin, 739 Pinetree Road 15243. For information, go to www.mtlebanonsports.org/fan_zone/Celebration.