During the summer, a perfect day for girls’ golf coach John Broderick might start off with a game of his own on the links, followed by some biking or maybe kayaking with his wife MaryAnn, and then reading on his front porch in the evening with their two dogs sleeping at his feet.
In complete contradiction to that idyllic life, the Fox Chapel Area educational support teacher found just as much fulfillment this summer, perhaps even more so, when he took part in a life-changing humanitarian faith-based trip to the Dominican Republic.
“I recently got back from a mission trip to Boca Chico,” Coach Broderick says of how he spent some time in July before the new school year and the 2017 sports season got underway. “I went with Fox Chapel Area grad Leo Wisniewski and young men from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Locking Arms Men. While we were there, we worked during the day on building the compound that Holts House of Hope will use for their after- school programs, and during the evening we conducted basketball clinics.”
Another of Coach Broderick’s favorite things to do is to be on the golf course with his team on a crisp fall day. He says he’s drawn to the game because, “It’s sport that everyone can play and play well if they dedicate the time to it. You don’t have to be big or strong or fast, and it’s the only sport I know of where players call penalties on themselves. That one depends on the integrity of each player. I just enjoy coaching, mentoring, parenting, or whatever is needed with the girls. Being the father of two girls, Emily, 27, and Elizabeth 24, I have lots of experience!”
Coach Broderick’s desire to help others is at the heart of all he does, including his contributions as a high school coach. Over a 29-year span, he has held various positions, including leading both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams, the baseball team, and for the past 24 years, girls’ golf.
“The 2010 girls’ golf season was special because that was the year we were the WPIAL champions and state runner-up,” says the Lawrenceville native who participated in sports at the former Lawrenceville Catholic High School. “We also had three WPIAL champions from 2008 to 2010. Nadia Luttner won twice and her sister Katerina once.
Now on the cusp of the 2017 season, Coach Broderick feels good about the possibilities this year. “The team will be solid and competitive, especially with our two top performers returning, senior co-captains Hannah Conroy and Cara Levicoff.”
As far as Coach Broderick’s other plans during the season, well, he’s hoping he can practice what he preaches by getting out on the golf course a little more to perfect his own game. That is, if he can find the time after giving so much to everyone else.