When Bob Walsh, assistant coach of the women’s basketball team, was a senior in high school, his teacher asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up.
Like most high school students, he stumbled on his response. The only thing that came to his mind was something in sports.
Walsh’s goal growing up was to play basketball and baseball in high school and college. It was a challenge but he achieved his goals and realized he could be a decent basketball player at both the high school and college level.
“I said that I love sports. I told him I did not think I was good enough to play pro basketball but coaching basketball would be great,” Walsh said. “My teacher told me that coaching is teaching, so why don’t you think about teaching a subject.” Walsh took a strong interest in history all throughout high school. He attended La Salle University where he was not only a basketball player but also studying to become a history teacher.
“Coaching has really been what I have wanted to do,” Walsh said. “If I could have done just coaching I would have but being just a high school coach does not pay the bills so teaching was good.”
He graduated from La Salle in 1971 and received a job as a JV boy’s basketball coach at Bishop Neuman High School. Two years later, Walsh was hired to be the head boys basketball coach at Central Bucks East, where he coached for 18 years.
“When I first got my head job, we were supposed to have a really good team, but we lost our first five games and I went uh-oh, that is not looking too good,” Walsh said. “There have always been moments, in terms of wins and loses, that I can reflect back to.”
Walsh then got involved with girls basketball in 1997 and arrived at Cabrini five years ago as one of the four assistants to the women’s basketball team.
“The work I put into coaching and what I learned from other coaches helped me become a better coach,” Walsh said. “You may have ups and downs, and wins and loses, but the ultimate thing is working with the young people.”
It is senior point guard Dana Peterson’s last year playing basketball as a Lady Cav and Walsh has been there every step of her career. He reminds Peterson to relax on the court and when things get crazy to always keep a level head.
“He is really easy to talk to and he always gives us good advice with our shots and makes sure that we keep active hands on defense,” Peterson said. “Coach Bob is a great asset to our team and looks out for us.”
Walsh has always liked the idea that when one crosses the line and go to play a game, they work hard and come to win. If they take that attitude to the game, they can thrive. He uses that coaching method with his player,s so they try to succeed in every game they play.
“Basketball and coaching has been a great thing for me. It is my life. I hope to continue longer. As long as Coach Kate wants to keep me around and Cabrini wants me, I will be here,” Walsh said. “I do not think I want to do anything else right now. It has been a fantastic 42 years and I hope to get 43 starting next year.”