Triggs, Hasenfuss bring wealth of experience to York Suburban
Jess Barley enters her 10th season coaching in the York Suburban girls' basketball program. The York Suburban and York College grad is one of just three women head coaches in the YAIAA this season. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
After a four-year hiatus, Tom Triggs returned to the York Suburban bench on Saturday night as the school's head boys' basketball coach.
And there was a familiar face waiting for him: Joe Hasenfuss, the winningest coach in program history who was Triggs' own high school coach.
"I have tremendous trust in him," Triggs said. "When you see that banner up on the wall and he has 500 and some wins, how do you question that?
"If he says something, I'm listening. He communicates very well with the kids. It's fun to see his enthusiasm in practice and the kids' approach to him. The kids have a lot of respect for him."
Hasenfuss recorded 549 wins in 40 years as a head coach at Lebanon Catholic and Suburban. He has been back on the Suburban bench for 10 years now as an assistant for Triggs and former head coach Dustin Boeckel.
This is Hasenfuss' 54th year in basketball, with 52 of those years coming at the high school level.
"I don't know to get out," said Hasenfuss, 79. "I enjoy doing it and your always trying to get better. I feel like I can still contribute."
The coaches' relationship dates back 40 years to when Hasenfuss coached Triggs at Suburban. Triggs went on to play at Shippensburg University.
"When I went to college, I was just so well prepared compared to other college athletes that it made the college game that much more comfortable as well," Triggs said.
Hasenfuss was just as complimentary of Triggs.
"Tom is very good game coach and he's extremely confident, which you have to be and he was as a player," Hasenfuss said. "He knows the game real well and studies the game and he delegates."
Triggs stepped down as Suburban's coach after the 2011-12 season, ending a 14-year run at the helm of the program. During his tenure, the Trojans went 218-120 and won the District 3 Class AAA title in 2009.
He took a break for two full years, before joining West York's staff for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
"This is a full-time job. People don't realize that. They don't realize the amount of time the players and coaches put in," Triggs said. "I wanted a break.
"After two years, I don't want to say I got the itch, but (former West York head coach) Bill Ackerman talked to me and asked me to come over and help him and run the defense. It was just a perfect scenario."
After replacing Triggs at Suburban, Boeckel stepped down following the 2015-16 season, opening the Trojans' door once more.
"When this position opened up, I wasn't looking to be a head coach again," Triggs said. "But, being in the school and knowing the kids — and they are great kids — I just thought this would be a fun opportunity.
"Being in the classroom with them, you are constantly building relationships with them and building trust with them. If you respect the kids, the kids will respect you."
Just a few games into the season, Triggs and the Trojans are still ironing out some wrinkles as he implements his program.
"Sometimes I get frustrated in practice because I expect things at a certain level," he said, "but when I coached before the system was in place and those sophomores, juniors and seniors knew what we were doing defensively and offensively. Now, it's brand new to these guys."
But Triggs has a seasoned resource at his disposal in Hasenfuss, who has seen his share of changes in the game over his five decades.
"The 3-pointer is different and the kids are stronger and quicker and better shooters and better ball handlers today. The camps came about and the kids are just working at the game more," Hasenfuss said.
"If you do a good job teaching the game, it doesn't matter how many defenses and offenses you use."
And so there they are, both teaching the game to yet another group of players.
"Our potential is very, very high. I'm pleased with the potential we have," Triggs said.