New Palestine’s new girls basketball coach is a familiar face.
Sarah Gizzi, the all-time leading scorer in the program’s history, has been named the new varsity girls basketball coach.
Gizzi has been a part of the Dragons program at all levels, most recently as the head coach of the Doe Creek Middle School eighth-grade team.
Gizzi was New Palestine’s first Indiana All-Star. She scored 1,172 career points and led the Dragons to two sectional championships and a Hoosier Heritage Conference title during her career. She graduated as the school’s valedictorian in 1994 . She then went to LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where she was a two-year starter and averaged just under 10 ppg her last two seasons.
Gizzi currently teaches math at Doe Creek Middle School, where she was named the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2016-17. She has been a varsity assistant and junior varsity head coach with the high school team, and has coached many of the current NPHS players during the last four seasons while coaching at DCMS.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to lead a program that has meant so much to me personally and my family,” Gizzi said. “I am excited for the future success of the program, both on and off the court. We have a great group of young ladies returning from an awesome season and I think they are ready to have even more success. The girls are hard workers with fantastic attitudes and I can’t wait to get started.”
She comes from a family of basketball coaches. Her father, Bruce Haynes, was the NPHS boys basketball head coach from 1990-95. Her brother, Noah Haynes, is the former head boys basketball coach at Brebeuf Jesuit. Her husband, Mike Gizzi, is also a former college and professional basketball player who has coached several youth and middle school teams in New Palestine. She has three children, the oldest of which, Maximus, was an all-conference guard for the Dragons boys basketball team this past season.
“Sarah’s background in basketball few can match,” NPHS athletic director Allen Cooper said. “She was a four-year starter at NPHS, an Indiana All-Star, a Division I player at LaSalle, and has coached at all levels in some form or another. She just needs a chance to gain head coaching experience. With the solid future talent at NPHS, I can’t think of a better high-character role model to lead our players moving forward. We are blessed to have Sarah as our head coach.”
She replaces Brian Kehrt, who stepped down earlier this spring after four seasons of coaching varsity girls basketball.
The Dragons are coming off back-to-back 16-win seasons, having gone 17-7 this past year. While graduating Raegan McMurray, who became the second 1,000-point scorer in school history in 2017, NP has four returning starters and returns all but two varsity players.