G. Richard “Dick” Misenhelter
Head basketball coach at Penn Hills High School in the 1960s and ‘70s, died Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 at UPMC Heritage Place at the age of 91.
Born in McKeesport on May 21, 1930, he was the son of the late George A. and Marion Misenhelter. Nicknamed “Mouse” for his diminutive size, Dick was a standout athlete at McKeesport High School, lettering in both basketball and baseball. Playing for the famous C.P. “Neenie” Campbell, Mouse captained the McKeesport team to the WPIAL Final in his senior year.
At McKeesport, Dick was also a member of the choir and was voted senior class president, proudly serving on his high school reunion committee even in his final years.
Dick attended Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia on a basketball scholarship and went on to be a four-year letterman. He served as co-captain in his last two seasons, leading the team to a 27-16 record. In his final victory as a Tiger, Mouse scored 13 fourth-quarter points to help Hampden-Sydney defeat Virginia Tech, 83-82. That year, he was named to the conference all-star team and was an All-State selection.
Also a second baseman on the Hampden-Sydney baseball squad, Mouse hit .333 in 1950.
After college, Dick served four years in the U.S. Air Force acting as a Chinese Interpreter in Korea.
A chemistry and science teacher for 32 years, Dick joined the Penn Hills School District in 1958 and began coaching the Penn Junior High 9th grade basketball team in 1960. He became Penn Hills Senior High School Head Coach in 1963 and compiled a 271-98 record over his 16 seasons as head coach.
Highlights of his tenure include the 1968-1969 team, which boasted a 22-4 record and a trip to the WPIAL finals, as well as the 1971-1972 team, which posted a regular season perfect record of 22-0.
Even after his head coaching days were over, Dick continued to impact Penn Hills basketball. In 1992, then-head coach Paul Seneca brought Dick back as a volunteer varsity assistant coach. That year, the Indians went to the WPIAL and PIAA Quad A playoffs and ended the season No. 4 in the state.
Dick served as president of the Pennsylvania Coaches Association. He coached the Colt Basketball Classic and Mr. Steak-Kiwanis Tournaments. In 1973, he was the head coach in the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic for the Pennsylvania All-Stars. He was a member of the West Penn Basketball Officials Association.
His illustrious playing and coaching careers were recognized by induction in the East Boros’ Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Hampden-Sydney College Athletic Hall of Fame, and Penn Hills Sports Hall of Fame.
After his retirement, he enjoyed officiating basketball and softball games, visiting casino buffets, and golfing with his friends Jerry Adams and Turner Frost. His buddies were impressed that several times, he shot his age.
Dick was the husband of the late Lydia Zeleznik Misenhelter. He is survived by a daughter, Lori (Kevin) Smith of Verona, and son, Dow (Maria) Misenhelter of Gibsonia, as well as grandchildren, Breanna and Brody Smith and Allie (Jordan) Misenhelter Lowe. In addition, he is survived by a number of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brother, Thomas, and sister Florence “Tori” Fedor.
Friends Received Sunday January 23, 2022 from 1-8 PM ; Funeral Services Monday January 24 at 11 AM in Zion Lutheran Church, 11609 Frankstown Road, Penn Hills: FRIENDS PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH. At the family‘s request, please wear a mask to the visitation and funeral services.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be to the charity of your choice.