Hall of Famers usually don’t just emerge out of nowhere.
It may sometimes seem that way, but more often than not, it’s an organic process — one that begins with a mentor who helps shape and foster their talents.
For Parrish Petry, his own storied career includes the tutelage of longtime Hempfield High coach Warren Goodling. The Lancaster-Lebanon League legend retired with a league-record 452 victories in 2010.
“I have learned something from all my former coaches, but the No. 1 influence in my basketball career has been Warren Goodling,” Petry said. “He has taught me everything I know in the game.”
Petry is the head coach of the Penn State York men's basketball team. He formerly coached high school basketball at both West York and Red Lion. During his playing days, Petry was a standout at both West York High School and Shippensburg University.
Petry led PSY to three straight Penn State University Athletic Conference titles from 2013 through 2015, and this past year, his local Lions finished second in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II National Championships, losing in the finals in overtime.
At Red Lion, Petry captured five York-Adams Division I titles and a York-Adams League crown in 2006. He had five straight 20-win seasons and also racked up the most wins in Class 4-A (123) in the state from 2002 through 2007. He’s also a six-time Coach of the Year honoree in the York-Adams League (two with West York and four with Red Lion).
Petry is West York High School’s all-time leading scorer with 1,359 points, and he scored nearly 1,000 more during his Shippensburg career. He earned All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference First-Team honors in 1985.
Petry is one of the newest selections for the York Area Sports Hall of Fame. He will be joined in the 2017 induction class by longtime area boxing trainer and promoter Julio Alvarez, as well as local bowler Don Smith. They will be inducted in a ceremony at a time and place to be determined.
Before Petry is enshrined, however, he took the time to field a few questions about his career leading up to this honor:
What does this honor mean to you?
“This honor, to me, is very humbling. To be recognized as having made an impact in the lives of young people through sports in the York community is very gratifying,” Petry said. “I have been very fortunate to have worked with some very loyal assistants over my career that have shared in a similar philosophy of mine on how to teach the game of basketball. Together, along with many special athletes, we have been able to find a lot of success.”
What are you most proud of from your time in basketball?
“In coaching, all my stops have been very rewarding, but taking over at Red Lion after they had won two games the previous year, and in a short period being able to win 20 games for five straight seasons. A school-record 29 (wins) in 2004, playing in three county championship games, a county championship title in 2006 and two District 3 4-A title games vs. Harrisburg and Reading. This was a first for any non-urban high school at the big-school level.”
As a player, Petry prides himself on having once scored more than 700 points in a season at West York (1980-81) and being an all-county selection in all three major sports (football, basketball and baseball).
Who are some of the major influences in your basketball career, and what lessons have your learned from them?
More on Goodling: “He is the one I call on for advice on a weekly basis with game strategy and personnel issues. He taught me the importance of building relationships with players that create trust and togetherness that is the foundation of successful teams. He also taught me to lead by example. If the players see me working hard to succeed, they will too.”
Even though Goodling gifted Petry with his knowledge, Petry is quick to credit another reason for his success — his wife, Kristi.
“She has been in my corner since we first met 40 years ago. We were high school sweethearts,” Petry said “She was the cheerleader. I was the athlete, she was the homecoming queen. I was the quarterback of the football team.”
Petry noted the sacrifices his wife made that allowed him to live out his dreams of coaching, such as bearing much of the responsibilities when it comes to the couple’s two children.
“It takes a very special person to sacrifice so much,” he said. “She is the one that tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Without Mrs. Petry there would not be coach Petry.”
What about sports in general do you like least?
“That is an easy one, losing,” Petry said. “When my team loses, I feel it is 100 percent my fault. There is a huge difference between losing as a player and losing as a coach. It is many times worse (for the coach) for sure.”
If you could change one rule in basketball, what would it be and why?
“One rule that I would like to see changed is to eliminate an offensive foul being assessed to a player. If an offensive player charges, or sets an illegal screen, or commits some type of foul while on offense, it should simply be a violation where the team loses possession of the ball, similar to a walking violation,” Petry said.
“Too many games are decided by too many fouls being called. This would keep the better players in the game longer and eliminate teams getting into the bonus early in games. The block/charge call is a difficult one, and many times causes good players to get in foul trouble because of bad officiating. This would remove some of the blame from officials.”
An additional change Petry proposed was to give a team the automatic two points when an opposing team or coach is given a technical foul.
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.