Liparulo hired as Laurel's new volleyball coach

May 18—A familiar face and a veteran volleyball coach will be taking the helm at Laurel High for the 2024 season.

On May 8, the Laurel School Board unanimously accepted the resignation of head volleyball coach, Jim Aggas, and subsequently hired Lew Liparulo as the coach at $6,350.

Aggas was hired as the Lady Spartans' coach in 2020. Before Aggas took the job, he was an assistant coach under Liparulo for 18 years at Butler.

Aggas contacted Liparulo to be his assistant coach at Laurel when he was hired.

"He took the job (at Laurel) and I returned the favor for him to help him out," Liparulo said. "He told me about it and he said you ought to think about applying. I was hesitant. When he took the job, he asked if I'd be his assistant and we did that for four years."

Liparulo said he has a "very good relationship," with Aggas, adding, "I've known him for a long time. I had him as a student. I asked him to be an assistant coach when I watched him work with youth basketball. I liked his demeanor and how he worked with the kids."

Liparulo started coaching girls volleyball at Butler in 1976. He coached the first boys' team in Butler which was formed in 1994 and focused solely on coaching boys at Butler in 2005.

The 71-year-old Liparulo started teaching physical education in 1974 and retired in 2015.

Said Laurel athletic director Ken Locke on Liparulo's hiring, "Coach Lip is a veteran. He's obviously got the experience and has been around volleyball for a long time. We're excited to have him. He already knows the girls, being an assistant the last several years, and we're excited to see what he can do here with the program."

Liparulo said he has an "open mindset," when it comes to coaching, adding, "I don't limit kids and tell them what they can't do, but try to keep encouraging themselves and keep to self-improvement. Some (coaches) have a closed mindset and limit kids to what they can and can't do. I'm a driven coach. I'm very big on kids giving me effort all of the time. The girls on the team from last year, they're well aware on how I coach."

Liparulo is still putting things together as he is coaching the Butler boys volleyball team which is currently competing in the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

"I've been trying to balance things to get it done," Liparulo said. "We have a meeting scheduled and we'll have a camp for the kids, which I've already done at Laurel."