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Doug Biega Returns To “2nd Home” For the First Time As Opposing Coach

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Doug Biega and his family make their home in Hopewell and have done so for the past 19 years.

But there’s no doubt that Biega’s ‘second home’ is Beaver Falls.

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For the last 25 years, he’s been a teacher in the Beaver Falls school district and of course, he was head coach of the Beaver Falls High School basketball program for 18 years.

Biega retired in 2017 after a compiling a Hall of Fame resume that included 378 career wins, four WPIAL titles (2005, 2012, 2013 and 2016) and two PIAA championships (2005, 2013).

Despite the retirement from high school coaching, basketball is still and will always be in his DNA. So, for the past handful of years, Biega has worked with the youth basketball programs in Hopewell, the last two coaching the junior high team. Not surprisingly, the winning has continued as last season, his team went 15-0 and are 1-0 to start the 2023-24 season.

The second game of the season is this afternoon, and it won’t just be another game for Biega. For the first time since leaving high school coaching, he’ll be returning to coach a game at Beaver Falls.

“Obviously, this is a game that is circled on my calendar for a variety of reasons,” Biega tells Hopewell Sports Nation. “First and foremost it is where I accomplished tremendous things professionally.  You’re talking about returning to a gymnasium where my teams won 80% of their games; 11 section titles, 4 WPIAL championships, and 2 PIAA Championship.”

“So, I really want to thank my old Athletic Director, James Carbone, and current AD Don Short for affording me this opportunity to sort of revisit a place that was very important to me for so long. They typically play their games in the high school. They moved it to the middle school where the varsity plays for me. I truly appreciated that gesture.Secondly, Beaver Falls is a tradition rich basketball program. So, it is very nice to measure your current program against a blue blood like them.”

Make no mistake about it, Biega and his coaching staff’s top priority this week has been to continue to work to get this Hopewell team better but his Hopewell players are aware of this afternoon’s circumstances.

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“Having two of my best ex players as assistant coaches in Javon Turner, and Donovan Jeter, all three of us have conveyed to this current team we are coaching that when you go into that gym, there is going to be resistance,” said Biega. “They are not just going to lay down. Beaver Falls basketball does not operate that way. So we better gear up and be ready to play the way we love to play.”

“We enjoy a physical, intense, game…just like my old Beaver Falls teams used to. We are looking forward to the challenge. A lot of people did not think this style of play- intense man to man defense… brutal physicality and relentless energy would work in Hopewell. We continue to prove people wrong. We are looking forward to unleashing it today.”

So it’s GameDay and this Vikings team will get on the bus this afternoon looking for win No. 2. Emotionally, I asked Biega if he’s more nervous or excited to be back in his old stomping grounds.

“I’m just excited. I guess when you have had the long career I have had, you don’t really get nervous at this level,” said Biega. “I used to have so many sleepless nights before championship games in the past, there’s nothing that keeps me up at night in the eighth grade universe. Now, I am definitely excited to see our kids compete for sure, but I have not been nervous for a game in a very long time.”

I guess it’s easy not to be nervous when you have talent on a roster that Biega has with the Gold Team.

“Yes, absolutely, not just with this game; but with the entire schedule we have in front of us. Not just playing a bunch of 5A schools, we also still want to play everybody in Beaver County, especially the ones on the varsity schedule currently,” says Biega.

”We do that, and we play the way we play, to make sure that these current opponents remember what it is like to play against us for the next four years. We would not have stepped into the deep end of the pool without the group I have with me. We have some tough guys, and they’re being coached tough…and they will have to be to get through the current  schedule.”

 

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