Rich Yankowitz

My success as the Varsity Basketball Coach at Dobbins Tech is a result of the influence of a string of people starting from the time I was a youngster. Lou Pollock, my Physical Education teacher at Beeber Jr. High, was very important because he got me to think I wanted to become a Physical Education teacher and Coach basketball as my life work.

Some years later while working during the summer at Camp Shalom in Collegeville, PA, I met Jack Ramsey who was a basketball instructor there. He was a strong influence, and we spoke often about coaching during the several summers he was there. I was also influenced by coaches Paul Ward of Overbrook and Tony Hopkins of West Chester State.

During my first teaching assignment at Leeds Jr. High, I met Hal “Hotsy” Reinfeld who urged me to take the test and coach basketball in high school. With his help I got the opportunity to coach the varsity at Dobbins. I used some of the techniques that I observed by watching and listening to Reinfeld, Skippy Wilson, Bobby Knight, Phil Martelli, Fran Dunphy, Jay Wright and John Chaney.

Of course you can’t win without great players, and I was fortunate to have a lot of them. The most well known – and the one who probably would have had the greatest career but for his untimely death at Loyola Marymount – was Hank Gathers. He was the hardest worker, top rebounder, and most popular teammate; a coaches dream. Bo Kimble led the country in college scoring with 35 points per game at Loyola Marymount, was the 8th pick in the first round of the NBA draft, and played with the L.A. Clippers and N.Y. Knicks. He was probably my most naturally gifted athlete. Doug Overton, who starred at La Salle and went on to a 12 year NBA career, was unselfish and my most “heady” guard. Horace “Pappy” Owens was my best pure shooter. He was a 1st team All-Atlantic Ten at Rhode Island and spent a short time in the NBA with the 76ers and the Nets. Darrell “Heet” Gates was my most exciting and colorful guard, and a great distributor for Gathers and Kimble. My top player list would have to include Larry Stewart, who starred at Coppin State and then started in the NBA with Seattle and Washington. Larry was my most improved player. He began his time at Dobbins with much turmoil, and wasn’t eligible to play until his junior year.

Some other players who just missed stardom: Leroy Choice, Jerome Peterson, Allen Jones, Leon Jones, Terrence Cook and Rodney Green.