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Spring Grove alum Osborne hired to take over Rockets program

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch
Spring Grove vs Chartiers Valley during PIAA Class 5-A girls' basketball state semifinal action at Bald Eagle High School in Belefonte in Centre County, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Spring Grove would fall to Chartiers Valley 50-33. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Coaching has been in the bloodlines in Allison Osborne’s family for several generations.

Osborne’s grandfather, grandmother, father and mother have all been involved in coaching in some  form.

Osborne, a 2012 graduate of Spring Grove High School, took up coaching herself after her playing days were over.

After helping out with the West York girls’ basketball program the last four years, Osborne had actually been  leaning toward getting away from  coaching.

That was until she got a bit of a push to apply for the head coaching position at her alma mater.

She applied, interviewed and was officially hired Monday evening as the program’s new head coach, taking over for Troy Sowers.

Spring Grove head coach Troy Sowers, seen here in a file photo, will lead his Rockets against Central York on Monday night. John A. Pavoncello photo

“I had a few people reach out to me,” the 27-year-old Osborne said. “They asked me to apply, as they were looking to rebuild the program and they thought I would be good for it.”

Timing was right: Though Osborne had been thinking about getting out of coaching, which requires a lot of time and effort, sometimes timing steps in and changes the outlook.

“Yeah, some things happen for a reason,” she said. “And I was kind of considering phasing out of coaching, but when the Spring Grove job opened up, that just kind of felt like something refreshing. To be able to build something of my own and to be really close to home helped, too.”

Osborne, who spent a season as an assistant under Holly Strait before Sowers took over, will be just the second female to lead a program in the York-Adams League this season. She joins longtime and successful York Suburban coach Jess Weaver in that regard.

Being a female was certainly a card that Osborne didn’t shy away from in her interview.

Spring Grove vs Chartiers Valley during PIAA Class 5-A girls' basketball state semifinal action at Bald Eagle High School in Belefonte in Centre County, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Spring Grove would fall to Chartiers Valley 50-33. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“They asked me what the difference was, and I just told them that I was a woman,” Osborne said. “And I hope that the girls can relate to me that way, and I’m also pretty young so I think that helps, too.”

Osborne knows she won’t be stepping into a program like the one her former peer at West York, new Bulldogs head coach Jason Getz, is inheriting. While the Rockets won the District 3 Class 5-A title two years ago and qualified for the District 3 playoffs this season, Osborne will only have one senior starter — guard Leah Kale — to build around.

Challenges: Spring Grove also has not been able to field a full junior varsity team over the past couple of seasons, leaving the program behind an even steeper curve in terms of actual playing experience.

Osborne, however, has a plan to increases the overall numbers in the organization, which may include a recruiting pitch to former all-state standout Laila Campbell, who decided to focus exclusively on track after competing in both sports during her freshman season.

“I’ve reached out to some of the girls that were in the program before to see if they would be interested in coming back out this upcoming year,” Osborne said. “So we’re reaching out and maybe will be having some open gyms this summer to see if they might get a feel for it and maybe make a decision off of their new experiences.”