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Sports

When the Thomas Jefferson High School football team advanced to the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals with a win over Greater Latrobe, their head coach Bill Cherpak moved into elite company among WPIAL football coaches.

Bill Cherpak 300
TJHS Head football coach, Bill Cherpak addressing the crowd after his 300th career win. (Photo credit WJHSD)

With the 21-6 victory, Cherpak became just the fourth WPIAL coach to post 300 victories. In his 28th season leading TJ, he has a 300-53 (84.9%) record.  Cherpak is the 21st Pennsylvania high school football coach all-time to earn 300 career victories.

Immediately following the rain-soaked win, Thomas Jefferson principal Pete Murphy presented Cherpak with a plaque and game ball commemorating his milestone win.

“300…they add up,” Cherpak said. “It’s always about the next one. The defense played great in the second half. In conditions like this, you have to be able to run the ball.” 

Named Thomas Jefferson’s head coach for the 1995 season, Cherpak has led the Jaguars to historic success, with nine WPIAL Championships and five PIAA state titles (2004, 2007, 2008, 2019, 2020). Cherpak became the first football coach with nine WPIAL titles and the Jaguars were the first WPIAL team to win five PIAA football crowns.

The Jaguars have won 22 Section/Conference titles under Cherpak’s leadership, including this season.

Cherpak moves into elite company among WPIAL coaches with 300 victories, joining Jim Render (406), Joe Hamilton (342) and George Novak (306), all of whom are retired.

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