ABINGTON HEIGHTS ATHLETICS

ABINGTON HEIGHTS ATHLETICS

ABINGTON HEIGHTS ATHLETICS

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Announcements  

Boys Basketball Head Coach, Ken Bianchi, and longtime Assistant Coach, Jeff McLane, announce retirement


Updated on 04/28/2024

Abington Heights legendary boys basketball coach, Ken Bianchi has announced his retirement after a 49-year career, 28 of those seasons as the Head Coach of the Comets. His former player and 42-year assistant coach, Jeff McLane, is also stepping down and they walk away as one of the most successful coaching duos in high school basketball history.

Throughout those storied 28 seasons leading the Comets, Coach Bianchi has amassed 613 wins against 145 losses, a .809 win percentage! Included in that record are 30 Championships between League, District and also a PIAA 5A State Championship in 2018. During the duration of time on the AH sidelines, he was assisted by his former player, and 42-year Assistant Coach, Jeff McLane. Before Bianchi and McLane arrived at AH, the Comets Boys Basketball program had a 2-6 record in State Playoffs. Since their arrival during the 1996-1997 season, the team's State Playoff record has transformed to 25-22 (23-16 from 1997-2024).

 

“Coach Bianchi and Coach McLane have given so much to the region, but especially to Abington Heights," recounted Abington Heights High School Principal, Mrs. Lee Ann Theony. “The young men they have cultivated into gentlemen over their career carry their legacy and lessons with them wherever their lives lead them. It has been an honor to have worked, watched, and cheered alongside them for the past ten years of my career. I wish them the best of luck in retirement. Thank you both for everything."

 

The coaching duo had already amassed an impressive resume at Scranton Tech and West Scranton before moving on to Abington Heights for the 1996-1997 season. However, their tenure here as Comets became legendary as they compiled 14 District 2 titles, 15 League titles and, the previously mentioned, 2018 State Championship. “Jeff and I have been together so long that we knew what the other was thinking…we never had a word to contradict the other. When it was game time we were always in agreement.” Bianchi continued, “We lasted so long together because we were on the same page - we were co-coaches!”

 

The retirement announcement comes on the same day Coach Bianchi was named the Class 5A Pennsylvania Sportswriters Coach of the Year! Two graduating seniors (Mason Fedor and Will Marion) were also named to the organization's All-State team.  

 

The 2023-2024 season saw the Comets finish a perfect 22-0 at the end of the regular season, hoist another District 2 Championship, and nearly come from behind against eventual state champion Imhotep Charter in the PIAA 5A Quarterfinals. The team finished 26-1 overall with a final MaxPreps ranking as the 13th best team in the State! 

 

Coach Bianchi’s decision to retire after his 49th season as a Head Coach was truly driven by his desire to make the most of his time with family. He and his wife Cathie will be married 50 years in October and they are looking forward to maximizing their time with their son, Christopher, and his wife Jessica (Toro), and especially their three grandchildren Capri (6), Sienna (5), and Milan (2). “It’s time,” Coach Bianchi said, as he began naming events the kids are starting to get involved in as they grow. “I’d be missing their events and I thought, I’d rather spend these years enjoying them and being there for my family to help where I can.” 

 

At the end of his career, Coach Bianchi reached and eclipsed 600 total wins as a Comet and finished the season with a career record of 894-382, a .700 win percentage. Coach McLane was right there by his side throughout most of those wins, including all 613 at Abington Heights. Together they have impacted generations of players and have helped to teach the young men in their programs (at all schools) the required character, effort, discipline and determination it takes to be successful; and those lessons transferred well beyond the basketball court!

 

Abington Heights Athletic Director, Enrico Mastroianni shared his sentiments on the retirement announcement, “I would personally like to thank Coach Bianchi and Coach McLane for their guidance and leadership throughout my life. They have mentored me as a player at West Scranton HS (1991-1994), as a coaching colleague and now as co-workers here in the Abington Heights School District. There is no way to fully put into words the impact they have had on my life and the lives of so many players. We are all better for having had the opportunity to be coached by you and you will be deeply missed here in Comet Nation!”

 

Coaches, thank you again for your commitment and dedication to Comets Athletics - you will always have a place here in Comet Nation to call home!

 

Scranton Times Retirement Story:

https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/sports/high-school/hs-basketball-longtime-abington-heights-coach-ken-bianchi-retires/article_9212ffc8-c443-583c-92f3-53589e76415c.html?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR0TO_Svhj45mP7zRuWcoAPIOGhIGOek99_cA2GyueNnERtbWTeFbpErQPg_aem_AWKIJF_fld4T_8fWgz2mIW8qXUASttoshcYFGEIEOzB1FPp5nMVZ7N8HvnIapGQhMveKJ7Q1roOkT4w7Johj9EmQ

 

Coach Bianchi Through the Years:

https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/sports/high-school/hs-basketball-ken-bianchi-through-the-years/article_8d8a52c8-9b44-54c6-81a3-2c10fd779880.html

 

 

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