Lansdale Catholic boys basketball

John Knebels
Sports Columnist

Ask anyone who has coached both grade school and high school athletics if there is a major difference between the two, and the answers will vary.

But here is one constant: If a coach loves to teach young people how to better play a sport while serving as a positive role model, the age of the player really doesn’t matter a whole lot.

“I’ve coached at both levels,” said Ed Enoch. “I sincerely enjoy them both.”

That’s one of the major reasons why Enoch was recently named the new boys’ basketball coach at Lansdale Catholic High School. Lansdale Catholic’s athletic director, Jon Slabek, labeled Enoch as someone whose “vision of athletics matches” that of his new employer. “Like his predecessor (Bernie Fitzgerald), Ed believes in developing the whole person,” Slabek said.

A 1972 graduate of Penn Charter High School and former player under the late, legendary coach Chuck Daly at the University of Pennsylvania, Enoch quickly took over his high school alma mater in 1978.

Four seasons later and with an overall record of 28-22, Enoch resigned and focused on family and business. Eight years ago, he began coaching at the archdiocesan level.

After a one-season stop at Lansdale’s Corpus Christi Parish, Enoch has coached for the past seven years at North Wales’ Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, where he led the grade school to several Region 20 Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) titles, one trip to the archdiocesan championship game, and two more to the semifinals.

“Coaching is coaching and kids are kids, but the main difference is that in grade school, you have a chance to help them for one or two years as opposed to sometimes four in high school,” Enoch said. “Every year you basically get a whole new group of kids and parents.

“Physically they can obviously do more things the older they are, but whether they are 13 or 17 or 19, you try to mold them with good values as best you can.”

A product of Lafayette Hill’s St. Philip Neri grade school, where he experienced an archdiocesan championship as an eighth grader under the tutelage of coaches John Taylor and Jim Moore, Enoch takes over a program that has struggled since joining the always-loaded Catholic League for the 2008-09 season. For the past three seasons, the Crusaders have posted a 20-46 record, including a 10-35 mark against league opponents.

Last season, the team finished a disappointing 1-12, and all but four of the LC players were expected to return this coming season, including three underclassman starters.

“It’s always a challenge, especially when you play in a league as strong as the Catholic League,” Enoch said. “There are a lot of great players and phenomenal coaches. It’s one of the best leagues in the country.

“I know we have our work cut out for us, but I am excited. We have a great group of kids, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to work with them and do the best we can. I can’t wait to get started.”

Enoch said he would miss the many friendships and usually friendly rivalries that accumulated during his CYO tenure.

“It’s always hard to step away from something you enjoy, and coaching (grade school) has been rewarding,” Enoch said. “Competing with guys like (current Archbishop Wood coach) Jack Walsh at St. Jude’s. Playing against teams like Corpus Christi and St. Andrew’s in Newtown year in and year out, you definitely develop a familiarity, and it creates a lot of great memories.”

More great memories await.

John Knebels can be reached at