NEPA Sports Nation

Lady Sabers switch hoop coaches

By Tom Robinson,

Jeff Baldwin, a long-time varsity volleyball coach at the school, will move up from the junior high ranks to take over as head girls basketball coach at Susquehanna.

Baldwin was appointed by the Susquehanna Community School Board Wednesday night to replace Gina Baker.

Baker had coached the Lady Sabers the past three seasons.

Baldwin coached the Susquehanna girls volleyball team for 26 years and, after two years away, has been hired to return to the program as an assistant. He has also been the head boys volleyball coach at times during that stretch.

After coaching fifth- and sixth-grade boys basketball for two years and seventh- and eighth-grade boys for two years, Baldwin switched to coaching girls, leading the fifth- and sixth-graders for two years. He spent the last four seasons as the seventh-grade coach and assisting with the eighth-grade team.

Baldwin’s seventh-grade team lost just one game in the 2021-22 season.

“This will be an experiment for me,” Baldwin said in a Wednesday night telephone interview. “I’ve never coached high school basketball.”

Baldwin is encouraged by the success the girls he will be coaching have had together on the junior-high level.

“Every group of girls that I had prior to this year had winning records,” he said, “so I’m hoping to take the group I had, put them back together and get back to winning ways.”

The Lady Sabers won District 2 Class A titles in Baker’s first two seasons, but did not qualify for the postseason after going 3-19 in 2022-23.

The coaching change was the third in District 2 basketball in a 24-hour stretch.

Elk Lake hired Kyle Kiehart to replace Rich Emmons and Dunmore hired Mark Finan to replace Kevin Clark as boys coaches. Emmons and Clark each resigned for family reasons.

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