HS TRACK AND FIELD: West Scranton coach Devine resigns

Paul Devine set out on a mission to build the West Scranton track and field program into a winner through work, dedication and commitment.

He succeeded.

After sacrificing time from his family, he will resign, leaving the boys and girls teams in a good place after 11 years overall and the last three as the head coach.

His last assignment is to coach the City senior all-star team when it competes against the County all-stars Sunday at 3 p.m. at Abington Heights High School.

"It was so exciting to watch the kids grow over the years and put in all of the hard work," Devine said. "I am proud of every kid who came in, bought into the system and tried their best each and every day to get better. I had excellent assistant coaches helping along the way. Without them, this program would not be where it is today.

"I want to spend more time with my family, and to run a successful program, it takes a lot of time and effort with conditioning starting in January and the season going through the end of May."

Both the boys and girls teams finished 3-3 overall this past spring. The boys team also captured the Class 3A team championship at the Robert Spagna Championship meet. It was the first track and field team championship for the program since 1986, the first program title since winning Class 3A at the Jordan Relays in 1987 and the first conference meet title since 1962.

In addition, West Scranton athletes set several school records and won numerous medals. The girls program won its first LTC Division I meet since 2015 in Devine's first season, and he was named the Times-Tribune Coach of the Year for girls track in 2023. The boys team won its first LTC Division I meet since 2018 this past spring.

Devine credited his mentors, Bill Gibbons, Scott Grecco and Jim Griffiths, the commitment of the coaching staff, which included Brad Turi, Chet Anuszewski, Tony Prudente, Mark Merli, Carissa Kasa, Richard Hensel and Maura Gockley, and the efforts of the athletes with the turnaround and enthusiasm for the program.

"Winning the Robert Spagna was surreal for us as a staff and the athletes," Devine said. "It all started in January on St. Ann Street on the big hill. The kids bought into the program, and they worked hard, lifted weights and did the workouts. The kids and the assistants worked together collaboratively to win the first team championship in a long time and build on the successes that we have had over the last three seasons."

On Sunday, the Lackawanna Track Conference Coaches' Association will host the third annual Senior All-Star track and field meet.

Athletes will make up teams and represent the City team and the County team in the 18-event dual meet format. Devine and his staff will coach the city, and Blue Ridge coach Katherine Heeman will coach the county all-stars.

Last season, the County All-Stars defeated the City All-Stars, 91-53, in the girls meet and 100-50 in the boys meet.