CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — The first round of states is a pretty good time to continue to cement your legacy.
Trinity boys basketball head coach Larry Kostelac hit a major milestone when he guided the Shamrocks to his 800th career win, and why not get to do it in a state tournament game?
The Shamrocks hosted Vaux Big Picture in the opening round of the 3A bracket and breezed past them in a 72-45 win. The two time state champ has been with the program for more than 40 years and didn’t even realize he was approaching 800.
“That’s just the way we’ve always been,” Kostelac said. “We talk about it all the time. I had a very wise man tell me when I was a player, the good Lord put the eyes in the front of your head for a good reason, and was to not dwell on things and look back but to look to the next thing going forward.”
“That’s the way I learned to play and that’s the way I’ve always coached and hopefully for as long as I continue to do this I’ll continue to play for the next possession,” Kostelac said.
The two time state champion has left an impact with many players over the course of his 800 wins, some of them keeping in touch with the Trinity head coach as he went for the milestone.
“I had a bunch of former players going all the way back to 1984 call this week and that means a lot to me as an individual and a coach,” Kostelac said. “Calling and saying best of luck, we’re thinking of you.”
“I’ve had a number of second generation players, that tells you how old you are,” Kostelac said. “When I got into this business I had no clue I would be coaching this long but I loved it and I still do. To see all these kids come back — not kids my goodness, they’ve got kids of their own.”
“I saw someone at halftime he had three little kids hanging on him and I remember him running up and down that court wearing that Trinity uniform and it made me feel good,” Kostelac said. “To be honest with you it teared me up a little bit, it really means a lot. It really does.”
Kostelac isn’t sure if he has another 800 wins in him, but knows he’s still got plenty left in the tank manning the Trinity bench.
“I think I still have some juice in me and I hope to be able to go as long as my health allows me to go,” Kostelac said. “I love it and if I didn’t love it I shouldn’t be out here but I do love it and I love working with the kids and helping them grow and I’ve always believed that you can learn a lot of life lessons through athletics.”
“Our kids are learning as we proceed and it’s a lot of fun going out and competing.”