Keefer retires as Head Basketball Coach at D3 Carlow U

Tim Keefer, the first head coach in Carlow University men’s basketball history, announced his retirement, effective June 30. Associate head coach Jacob St. George, a 2019 Carlow graduate who has served as the team’s assistant coach for the past four seasons, will step in as the program’s interim head coach.

“It was a great privilege and opportunity to work these past three years with Coach Keefer. His passion for the sport and his student-athletes is unmatched. He created an environment for his athletes to graduate and become successful, compassionate, responsible leaders,” said Director of Athletics Louis Zadecky. “He was respected by the staff and his peers, and he always brought a positive outlook and encouragement to every situation. He will be missed, and we deeply appreciate everything he gave to Carlow Athletics and the men’s basketball program, and we wish him the very best.”

Although Carlow sponsored club basketball teams throughout the years, men’s basketball became the University’s first official men’s varsity sport in 2014. This year, the Celtics plan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inaugural men’s basketball season during Homecoming and throughout the year.

“We look forward to celebrating Coach Keefer’s incredible journey and unwavering dedication. His passion for the game and commitment to nurturing his players shaped them into not just athletes, but remarkable individuals,” said women’s basketball head coach, David Gordon, who worked as Keefer’s assistant from 2014-2022. “I would like to thank Coach Keefer for the countless hours, wisdom and heart he invested in us. His legacy will continue to inspire and guide us long after the final buzzer. Enjoy this new chapter – you’ve more than earned it.”

Keefer earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education and began his career as a coach and educator at Boggs Avenue Elementary School in 1983.

His expertise grew to include key postings throughout the Pittsburgh Public School System and Western Pennsylvania, including stints at Hempfield Area High School and Allegheny Middle School, and two decades coaching at Oliver High School, where he also served as athletic director from 2009-2012.

Keefer also contributed to the success of students and athletics programs at the collegiate level. He helped transform the men’s basketball team at Pennsylvania State University Greater Allegheny from a two-year program to a four-year program, and under his leadership the Greater Allegheny Nittany Lions won the PSUAC basketball championship in 2006.

His volunteer coaching activities included a brief stint as assistant men’s basketball coach at Seton Hill University. For more than two decades, Keefer contributed his expertise to summer training camps around the Pittsburgh region, including work with ProCamps, the Urban Impact Youth Football Camp and the National Youth Sports Program at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

“Tim Keefer did a fantastic job of recruiting, retaining and graduating his student-athletes. He provided opportunities to so many young men to earn a degree who may not have had that without basketball,” said retired former Carlow Director of Athletics, George Sliman. “He was a great collaborator and always cared about all Carlow athletes, not just his. I was fortunate to have worked with him and wish him nothing but the best in his retirement. He will be missed at Carlow.”

Keefer followed the guiding principle that academics should always come first for his players. His commitment to educating and inspiring the next generation of talented, engaged student-athletes was an asset to Carlow Athletics’ continued academic success.

Under his direction, Keefer coached: three athletes on the Athletics Walk of Fame; one USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year (Hunter DeStefano, 2022); five USCAA All-Americans; 18 Conference Scholar-Athletes; nine USCAA Academic All-Americans; six NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athletes; and one College Sports Communicators Academic All-District® honoree (DeStefano, 2023).

Keefer also coached the University’s first 1,000-point scorer and two-time All-River States Conference honoree, Charlie Scharbo.

As an avid supporter of community involvement and events, Keefer played an instrumental role in several Coaches vs. Cancer games as well as Carlow’s ‘Pink the Pavilion’ events throughout the years.

“Coach Keefer has had a tremendous impact on my growth over the last 10 years as a player and coach. I have seen firsthand his impact on the Carlow community as well as his own,” said St. George. “One of my favorite things I tell people about Coach Keefer is that he knew somebody everywhere we went. This shows how much he valued creating relationships. I hope to take the lessons I have learned from him and help move the program forward.”

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