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Sattele steps down as Middletown Blue Raiders boys hoops coach

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 7/9/18

After 10 years, Chris Sattele is going out on a high note as head coach of the varsity boys basketball team at Middletown Area High School.

He will continue in his full-time position with the …

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Sattele steps down as Middletown Blue Raiders boys hoops coach

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After 10 years, Chris Sattele is going out on a high note as head coach of the varsity boys basketball team at Middletown Area High School.

He will continue in his full-time position with the Middletown Area School District as assistant principal at the middle school, a job he has held for six years.

This coming school year, he also will be the school district’s assistant athletic director.

Sattele told the Press & Journal that his best memories come from the relationships he established from coaching hundreds of players over the years.

“A lot of them grew up, graduated from college, some get married and have kids. It’s just awesome to see these kids grow up and come into their own, and hopefully I had a small impact on their lives,” Sattele said.

In his final season last school year, the team finished 19-9 including a District 3 third-place finish and again making the PIAA Elite 8.

Asked if he feels like he’s going out on top, Sattele responded, “absolutely.”

Sattele had a record of 136-100 losses coaching the Blue Raiders. The district will begin advertising internally to replace Sattele, with the hope of finding a qualified candidate from within to fill the position, athletics director Cliff Smith told the Press & Journal.

“I would offer him the highest praise I believe a coach can be offered, which is that I would feel it would be a privilege for my sons to have played under his tutelage,” Smith said.

Timing

Sattele said now is a good time for a coaching change, in that the varsity boys basketball team is in “transition” due to the large number of players who graduated in June.

Another reason he is making the change is to pursue work on his doctorate degree. He is now in the second year of his doctorate program, and wants to start writing his dissertation over the next two years.

“That’s a personal goal of mine,” Sattele said.

The assistant AD position was split between two people in the previous year, Smith said.

The new position means Sattele can be involved in school district athletics all year. The assistant AD helps with game-day management and assists the AD with other duties.

Sattele most likely will be present for most district junior high events “as that will streamline nicely with his position at the middle school,” Smith said.

Coaching record

Sattele came to Middletown from Northern York High School, where he coached the boys varsity basketball team for five years posting a record of 27-89.  When Northern York is added in his 15 years of varsity boys basketball coaching, his career record is 163-189.

Sattele said he considers himself fortunate to have coached in the Middletown district, which he called “very family oriented.”

“Our community loves our athletes, whether it’s football, basketball, soccer or whatever. It’s a great community to be a part of,” Sattele said.

The varsity Blue Raiders went to district seven times during Sattele’s 10 years at the helm.

The team got to the district playoffs in each of Sattele’s first four years, then entered a three-year dry spell from 2012 through 2015.

The Blue Raiders came back as district qualifiers in 2015-16.

In terms of success, the past two years have been Sattele’s best. The team made the state playoffs in both 2016-17 and in 2017-18.

In 2016-17, the team under Sattele finished 22-6, including being District 3 runners-up and making the Elite 8 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Sattele’s 10 years isn’t the longest tenure for a varsity boys basketball coach in Blue Raider history. That honor belongs to Bob Heusser, who coached for 18 seasons from 1979-80 to 1996-97 and amassed a 301-178 record.

“Coach Sattele was a great mentor and leader for the students in our boys basketball program over the last 10 seasons, and it shows in the success the program has had,” Smith said. “In watching him coach this past season, I developed great respect for his ability to coach the game of basketball and to teach important life lessons through athletics.”