Dallastown girls’ basketball coach Jay Rexroth doesn’t feel like he’s a “basketball-lifer.”
His good friend Troy Lokhaiser, however, begs to differ.
Rexroth earned his 300th varsity basketball coaching win on Saturday when his Wildcats defeated Susquehannock, 46-26.
Rexroth was 233-172 in 17 years leading the Dallastown boys' program before taking over the Wildcats' girls' team in 2016. He's 67-32 with the Dallastown girls, for an overall mark of 300-204.
He joined another well-known local basketball coach in reaching a coaching milestone this month. Red Lion girls' coach Don Dimoff recently got his 500th victory, but Rexroth downplayed any major similarities between the two.
“That guy (Dimoff) lives and breathes this stuff,” said Rexroth, who is also an assistant coach with the Dallastown boys’ tennis team. “But it’s not my life. I enjoy coaching but I have a lot of other things going on in my life. Not everything I do is just focused on basketball.”
How true is that?
Well, Lokhaiser has a slightly different take. Lokhaiser has been best friends with Rexroth for more than 30 years, dating back to their time together at Penn State York in the early 1980s. When Lokhaiser was deciding whether or not to take over the Dover girls’ basketball program back in 2011, he reached out to Rexroth for guidance.
“He pretty much persuaded me into taking the position,” Lokhaiser said. “And, along with that, he came along to join me as an assistant. So we were a package, so to say.”
Different take: Having worked with and known Rexroth for so long, Lokhaiser has his own take on the Dallastown coach.
“Oh, he’s definitely at home on the court,” Lokhaiser said. “There’s no doubt about that. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if in a couple of years you’re talking to him about 400. He threatens to give it up one day, but I’m not sure.”
Having seen Rexroth up close as one of his assistants during his time at Dover, which included 71 wins in three seasons, Lokhaiser knows that his buddy does a lot more than he leads on.
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“His preparedness and level of enthusiasm on the practice court is something I’ve never seen before,” Lokhaiser said. “He has such a passion to coach and to mentor the kids. For the three years he was with me, to watch him run practice and his level of enthusiasm on the practice court was probably more than during games. He loves that couple of hours on the practice court every night.”
Rexroth agreed with Lokhaiser’s assessment. The wins and losses pale in comparison to the process of helping young athletes prepare and improve.
Truth be told, Rexroth was caught off-guard when he saw a tweet from Dallastown athletic director Vince Sortino congratulating him on his accomplishment.
“The wins and the losses and the games are probably the thing I look least forward to,” Rexroth said. “It’s just about the time in the gym and practice is what I get excited about.”
Hedging his bet: Rexroth, who was joined in the 300-career win club a few hours later by Dallastown wrestling coach Dave Gable, hedged his bet a bit when asked if 400 is in his future.
“As long as I’m excited about going to open gyms and going to practice every day this is something I’ll keep doing,” he said. “But if I get to the point where it’s not fun and I’m not looking forward to it, then I’m done. I’d just be cheating the kids.”
Counting his time as an assistant at Dover (71 wins) and then for two years at York Suburban (36 wins), Rexroth has been on the bench as a coach for more than 400 varsity victories.
It would be even more if you throw in his wins as the JV tennis coach.
“(Dallastown boys’ tennis coach) Mark (Koons) called me to congratulate me,” Rexroth said. “And he kidded me and said ‘you’re not counting any of those JV tennis wins are you?’ Nope, just all basketball.”
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