finish lines

Mt. Lebanon Girls Basketball Coach Dori Oldaker coached teams to an unprecedented three straight state championships. She teaches second grade at Washington Elementary School. This year, she was inducted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

What is something unforgettable that a coaching mentor taught you?

Two coaches influenced me immensely: John Miller, former Blackhawk High School Boys Basketball Coach, and Mike DeChellis, former Blackhawk High School Girls Basketball Coach. Coach Miller told me to be myself as a coach and not try to be like anyone else in the coaching field.

How do you balance family, teaching and  coaching?

It is really difficult trying to balance all three. I have an incredible husband, Mark, who truly runs our household when I’m not around. Without his help and support, I wouldn’t be able to coach.

oldaker_w-kidsHow would your players describe you?

My players would probably describe me as……an intense disciplinarian coach. But hopefully, they think that I am firm, but fair.

Tell us about a tough on-court loss.

The last loss of every season is the toughest loss, due to it being the final game for our seniors and the final time that we get to be together as a team.

The Hall of Fame is still mostly men. How do you feel about being chosen?

Extremely honored. This was never a goal for me, but I am truly humbled by the list of Hall of Famers. It’s truly an honor to be added to this list!

—Photo by Martha Rial