New hoops coach hired

Teacher excited for future of girls basketball team

NEW PALESTINE — Nearly two weeks after the resignation of former girls basketball coach Brian Kehrt, the New Palestine Dragons have found their replacement.

Sarah Gizzi, the all-time leading scorer in the program’s history, has been named the new varsity girls basketball coach.

Gizzi has been a part of the Dragons program at all levels, most recently as the head coach of the Doe Creek Middle School eighth-grade team.

Gizzi was New Palestine’s first Indiana All-Star in 1994. She scored 1,172 career points and led the Dragons to two sectional championships and a Hoosier Heritage Conference title during her career.

She went on to LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where she was a two-year starter and averaged nearly 10 points per game in her last two seasons.

Gizzi is a math teacher at Doe Creek Middle School, where she was named the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-17.

She has been a varsity assistant and junior varsity head coach with the high school team.

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to lead a program that has meant so much to me personally and my family,” Gizzi commented in a press release. “I am excited for the future success of the program, both on and off the court.

“We have a great group of young ladies returning from an awesome season, and I think they are ready to have even more success. The girls are hard workers with fantastic attitudes, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The Dragons are coming off back-to-back 16-win seasons, having gone 17-7 this past year to win the unofficial county title. New Palestine has four returning starters and returns all but two varsity players in 2017-18.

“Sarah’s background in basketball few can match,” New Palestine athletics director Allen Cooper said. “She was a four-year starter at NPHS, an Indiana All-Star, a Division I player at LaSalle, and has coached at all levels in some form or another. She just needs a chance to gain head coaching experience. With the solid future talent at NPHS, I can’t think of a better high-character role model to lead our players moving forward. We are blessed to have Sarah as our head coach.”

Kehrt stepped down earlier this spring after four seasons of coaching varsity girls basketball.