NORTHERN CAMBRIA —
With 400-plus wins, two PIAA Class A girls volleyball championships and nine District 6 crowns amassed, Mike Hogan can add another accolade to his ongoing coaching legacy at Northern Cambria: Hall of famer.
Hogan, the girls and boys coach at Northern Cambria, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame earlier in the month, allowing the veteran coach to join a number of players and coaches who influenced his own path through the sport.
“When you start coaching, you don’t coach to get in a hall of fame,” Hogan said. “A lot of the people who are on the hall-of-fame list helped me out. Coaches I played for, guys I played with in college (at Penn State) are in the hall of fame. When you start coaching you want to give something back. Volleyball helped me pay for my education and start a career in education. I sort of fell in love with it. I’m glad I’ve had a chance to give back to the kids.”
Hogan played at Penn State from 1984 until 1988 and has served as the girls’ coach at Northern Cambria since 1989. Since taking the helm of the program, he’s guided the Colts to a pair of state titles in 2005 and 2009.
When Hogan found out about the news, it wasn’t long before the community that he’s coached in for over 20 years was offering congratulations.
“I really didn’t tell anyone except my closest family,” Hogan said. “It leaked out and the response has been overwhelming between the amount of emails, handshakes and phone calls.”
Then again, the Northern Cambria community has done nothing to indicate otherwise during Hogan’s tenure.
“When we were making our runs through the state playoffs and in the district, we’ve had busloads of kids,” Hogan said. “The whole community gets behind it and it’s a fun thing.”
Getting the chance to lead in a community as tight-knit as Northern Cambria’s is a blessing according to the newly minted hall-of-famer.
“To coach in a small town in a public school, it’s really something,” Hogan said. “The community was just crazy about it, it really was special to give something to the community where I work.”
Hogan has even been able to see two of his children take their volleyball careers to the collegiate level with daughter, Ashley taking her talents to Maryland and son, Jeff currently on the roster at St. Francis.
“Being able to do this with my family behind me ... My wife Terri has been super supportive,” Hogan said. “You just can’t do it on your own. I’ve had some great assistant coaches over the years, the school has been great in giving us a full schedule and allowing us to do what we need to do to build the program.”
Those programs, with the boys team starting in 2011, have renewed his vigor every season.
“Every year is a new adventure,” Hogan said.
Shawn Curtis is the sports editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/shawncurtis430.