Troutman hired as Kane girls hoops coach

Brandon Troutman is going home.

After spending the last four seasons as head coach of the Sheffield Area High School girls basketball program, Troutman was approved last week as the girls coach at Kane.

Troutman, who lives and works in Kane, saw it as the perfect fit.

“My kids are getting older, 10 and 11, and they’re pretty busy,” he said. “It’s something my girlfriend and I had talked about. There was an inquiry on my end and they wanted to talk to me. We talked, they felt that it was a good fit. After discussion at home, we felt it was a good fit for us as well from a family standpoint.”

Troutman, who can see the lights from the football field on game days from where he lives, inherits a program that is coming off a historic season, going 25-4 and reaching the PIAA Elite 8 in Class 2A.

He will replace long-time coach Dave Kiehl, who retired at season’s end.

“From a personal standpoint, coaching is something I love and am passionate about,” he said. “It gives me an opportunity to continue to do that without sacrificing as much time at home.”

The Lady Wolves were one of the top program’s in District 9 under Kiehl, a run that ended with a 47-7 record over his last two seasons.

They will have some big shoes to fill next season, losing District 9’s all-time leading scorer, Ella Marconi, to graduation, as well as starting point guard Hannah Buhl.

But the cupboard is far from bare.

“It’s very exciting to step into a program like that. Not only have they had success, but the expectations are high. And it’s not just the girls basketball program – they’ve had several programs that have had a lot of success,” noted Troutman. “There is an expectation to live up to. Dave has set the bar high and the challenges are exciting.

“Losing Ella Marconi and Hannah Buhl, those are big shoes for us to replace. The cupboard isn’t bare, though. There are six or seven seniors coming back and a whole crew of juniors, as well as nine or 10 freshmen.”

And while there’s the excitement of going to a new program, there’s also the reality of leaving behind girls he has coached the last four years.

That wasn’t something Troutman took lightly when making this decision.

“Sitting down and talking with the kids last week and letting them know I was leaving was tough,” he said. “I have quite the relationship with these kids – they’re like my adopted kids. It was difficult to tell them. Their desire to continue to get better and work hard, even though the wins haven’t been there, has been inspiring to me. Whoever the next coach is will be lucky. I wish the kids all the best. They deserve to win.”

Of course, there’s also the fact that Troutman is moving within the AML North, something that wasn’t lost on him.

“I told them I hope they win every game, except for when they play Kane,” he said with a chuckle.

And beyond that, there are the relationships he has built within the Sheffield Sports Boosters, as well as with Athletic Director Corey Copley.

“Corey has been tremendous as an AD. Even up until a couple of weeks ago, we were working on scheduling things. There were days when I’m calling him two and three times to switch things. He’s been so reliable and dependable and available, and just giving me the chance to be a head coach,” Troutman said. “I’ll always be appreciative to him for everything he’s done. Not just for me, but for Sheffield. Sheffield is lucky to have him.

“I went to school at Sheffield, played and coached there. It wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. I have a lot of ties there. The sports boosters are such a great organization to be a part of. It was tough, but when you boil it all down from a family standpoint, it makes sense.”