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Shenendehowa’s Strube To Step Down After This Season

For the second time this season, a longtime coach has decided to retire from Shenendehowa High School.  Brent Steuerwald called it quits after 44 years on the Plainsmen football sideline and now Ken Strube will do the same after this girls’ basketball season.

photo courtesy Kristie Heffner

“Timing is everything. I’ve really had a very Utopic career. I was very fortunate to land on my feet at Clifton Park and teach at Shenendehowa,” said Strube.

Strube was a mathematics teacher at the high school for 35 years until retiring on July 1. He has coached for 33 years and put together an impressive list of accomplishments: began the season with 571 wins and 153 losses, 21 Suburban Council crowns, 10 Section II Class AA championships, nine regional Class AA titles and four state Class AA titles.

How about leading Shenendehowa to a 112-game win streak (1986-94) in the Suburban Council plus 13 consecutive Blue Division/Suburban Scholastic Council championships (1987-99).

Strube belongs to the Shenendehowa Athletic Hall of Fame, Capital Region Basketball Hall of Fame and New York State Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s been named the Suburban Scholastic Council “Coach of the Year” 21 times and Section II Coach of the Year (Large School/Class AA), eight times.

So why retire now?

“When Emily Weber was a freshman she heard that I may retire. She said I couldn’t retire until she’s done as a player. She’s now a senior,” said Strube.

His coaching career started as a junior varsity boys assistant for one year at Colonie (his alma mater) and varsity boys assistant at Shenendehowa three years under head coach Jim Zullo before starting the girls basketball program.

“I learned as much as I could in those three years. I was truly blessed with a steady stream of great players. Lucky for me, they did everything for me. I feel the proudest thing about our program is our consistency,” said Strube.

As he looks back, Strube regrets not having the time to watch his former players perform in college.

“Because of your coaching schedule, you rarely get to see players at the next level. You catch an occasional game. Even if a player came here (Capital District) to play, chances are I had a game and couldn’t watch,” said Strube.

Obviously, Strube has countless memories but the accomplishment of the 1990 squad which featured the Barnes (seniors Deb and Laura) twins and sophomore Jen Scanlon ranks at the top. The Barnes’ played at the University of Richmond and Scanlon took her game to Duke University.

“That is the greatest team in Section II. We were ranked as high as fourth in the USA Today poll. That was the most enjoyable ride I’ve ever had. We got beat twice that year and both by powerhouse Christ The King. Without a doubt, Shen’s glorious season,” he said.

Now, instead of getting up at 5:30 a.m. for school, Strube tends to sleep a little later and already his wife, Jo-Ann has a “to-do” list.

“There’s so many things we couldn’t do over the years. When you coach a winter sport like basketball, you’re stuck until March. We’re looking forward to taking a couple of weeks in January. We haven’t sat down and planned anything yet,” said Strube.

For now, Strube has this season left with another talented team and a chance to collect more honors and memories.

Article by Mike Collar


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