PINE TWP — Kevin Mayberry was reluctant to leave sports behind.
Thanks to Pine-Richland boys basketball coach Brian Gaetano, he didn't have to.
Mayberry, a 2007 Seneca Valley graduate, starred for both the football and basketball teams while in high school.
Graduating from Westminster College in 2011, he took a job in the special education department in the Pine-Richland School District last fall.
“During my first day on the job, Coach Gaetano came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be an assistant on the boys basketball team,” said Mayberry. “I was very fortunate he asked me to help with the varsity team. It's a very competitive league.”
Mayberry, who spent four years on SV's varsity basketball squad, found himself on the other end of the court Jan. 8 when Pine-Richland visited Seneca Valley.
“To be back in that gym, but pulling for the other side, that was a little weird,” he said. “I was a sophomore when Coach (Victor) Giannotta took over at Seneca Valley. The night we played there, I got a chance to reminisce with some of the guys. They all wished me good luck.”
As a senior in high school, Mayberry signed a letter of intent to play football at Edinboro University. In his two seasons playing wide receiver for the Raiders, he caught 51 passes for 737 yards and three touchdowns. But his heart urged him to go in a different direction.
“Edinboro did not have the double major I was looking for (Elementary and Special Education),” said Mayberry. “Westminster did, plus they were one of the schools that had shown interest in me for basketball.”
By the fall of 2007, Mayberry was at the school's campus in northern Lawrence County. He played two seasons for the Titans' men's basketball team, logging 61 points and 58 rebounds.
“As an elementary education major, I had to keep my grade-point average at 3.0 or higher,” he said. “After playing basketball for two years, I decided to just focus on keeping my GPA up.”
Mayberry's opportunity with Pine-Richland set in motion what he hopes is a lengthy road as a coach.
“My father, John Mayberry, coached baseball at Pine-Richland High School for 19 years,” he said. “I always wanted to stay involved in sports and coaching is the best way to do it.
“One day I would like to be a head coach,” Mayberry added. “But there's a lot more responsibility involved with that and I still have a lot to learn. I'm living the dream right now.”