Father, Mentor, Leader

Bill Swan fills many roles at Hempfield Area High School
Father, Mentor, Leader

However you know him, coach, counselor, role model, or even a familiar face seen around Hempfield Township, everyone knows the amazing Bill Swan. Swan is a very familiar name to most as he has been the Boys’ Varsity Basketball for close to 20 years and is one of the most helpful individuals at Hempfield Area High School.  

According to Mr. Swan, his favorite part of being a coach is, “being 56 years old and still part of a team.” He says that, “waking up everyday and still being on the boys basketball team is awesome.” As for the acting as a school counselor, he further reflects saying, “being part of [a student’s] development and journey through high school and seeing how their development into an adult 10-15 years down the road” is the best part.

At every Hempfield Area basketball game, he performs the ritual where he looks and points at the empty chair sitting near the court. This is a tribute to his recently passed father who attended every single game and sat in that exact spot. Mr. Swan’s dad “was a track star and had no clue about basketball.” When he attended the games, Mr. Swan says, “we learned the sport together while creating a better relationship at the same time. He will always be part of the program.” He left a legacy that Swan cherishes in his memory. 

Basketball has further allowed Mr. Swan to create memories with his own children when he first took his oldest son Jake to the WPIAL Finals at Greensburg Central Catholic. Then he returned to Hempfield Area to coach during his middle son Logan’s senior season. Lastly, he was able to coach with his youngest son Ty. His impact was present on and off the court as is seen through the three fantastic men his sons have become.

One of the most noteworthy things about Mr. Swan is the way he can create relationships with absolutely anyone. He befriends so many different people with different backgrounds. He credits this skill to his upbringing in Connellsville where he engaged with people of all walks of life and to his career as a teacher that allowed him to be surrounded by high school students at all times.

Coach Swan has a lot of excitement for the upcoming season as the boys basketball teams return 7 letter-men who have already have experience with play styles and each other. He puts a large emphasis on the players becoming one within the team and creating bonds that last long after their time on the court is finished.

Senior Matthew Vohs states, “Coach Swan always makes an effort to connect with us as friends before he does as players. It’s what really makes the team a family.” This reiterates the type of person Bill Swan is. His goal is to build strong, kind, and hardworking men using a bright orange ball and a hoop 10 feet off the ground.

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