Monday, January 14, 2008

Strube's 500 win milestone

As you know Shenendehowa girls basketball coach Ken Strube reached his 500th win on Friday defeating his alma mater Colonie 51-40. “It's a special thing,” Strube said. “500 itself, the sound of it makes me feel like I should be walking with a cane.”

Strube started coaching in the 1979-80 season and has been racking up the wins ever since. He has never had a losing season finishing at .500 (9-9) only twice, in the1979-80 and the 85-86 season. He's averaged 20 wins a season for his career including 20 Suburban Council championships, eight section II titles and four state titles. “We've been very fortunate,” he said.

Strube's 1989-90 team may have been his best ever and certainly one of the best ever assembled in section II. On that team he had Parade All-American Debbie Barnes her twin sister Laura, the New York State Sportswriters Association player of the year, and Jennifer Scanlon who later went on to play at Duke. The team went 26-2 losing twice to New York City powerhouse Christ the King. Once in overtime in the regular season and once by nine points in the state federation tournament. “Christ the King had just a little better talent,” Strube said of the oft nationally ranked school.

Shenendehowa girls basketball head coach Ken Strube paces the sideline during his 500th win. (Photo - JS Carras - The Record)

Strube developed a relationship with Christ the King head coach Vincent Canezzaro, and the two teams scrimmaged each other often giving each team a taste of the states top talent.. Canezzaro is set to enter the New York state basketball hall of fame this year.

The wins just keep coming for Strube. His team this year is off to another solid start at 6-1 and 8-1 overall. They haven't lost since the first game of the year back on December 4 and are ranked seventh in the state class AA poll. “We're a well balanced team,” Strube said. “They're finally all playing together as starters again.” Another run at a suburban and sectional title seems possible this year. “We have high expectations,” he said.

Strube considers the friendships with different coaches, like Canezzaro, and his players the real joy of coaching. He's quick to credit his assistant coaches Joe Murphy and Tony Mingione and Shen JV coach Tim Minor. “It's been a great experience,” he said. “Sports are a huge character builder.”

Looking back Strube has nothing but fond memories of the last 29 years as Lady Plainsmen head coach.“I just can't believe I've been coaching for 29 years,” he said. “It doesn't seem like a job.”

-Ryan Kircher

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