By Mike White | Monday, May 17, 2010, 11:30 a.m.
A district basketball coach sings backup and plays guitar with a member of a well-known local band.
This musical side of Rich Irr is somewhat astonishing. Irr is a coach who has a state championship on his resume. He is Bishop Canevin's boys' coach, but he won a state championship a few years ago as Oakland Catholic's girls' coach. I found out about Irr's muscial talents by accident three days ago, and it just goes to show you that some coaches have hobbies far away from the sports arena
Here's the story: Friends decide to grab a bite to eat this past Friday at Highland Country Club (the restaurant is open to the public). They tell me to stop by. Performing at Highland that night was Greg Joseph, a songwriter, musician and singer with the well-known Pittsburgh area rock band "The Clarks." And who sang and played guitar part of the night with Joseph? Irr.
Irr and Joseph are friends - and now playing partners?
"It's just something I've been doing a little of lately," Rich Irr said with a laugh. "It's not that big of a deal." Check out the picture below from Friday. Irr is on the left and Joseph the right.
Irr, who makes his living as a financial planner, plans to do more of the singing and guitar-playing in the future. He has a gig June 5 in Robinson at The Bronze Hood Lounge with another friend, Joe Brucker. Irr and Brucker also played a few songs together Friday when Joseph took a break.
After I got over the initial laughs of seeing Irr pick a guitar and sing in front of an audience, he was actually very good with Joseph. Of course, I'm a fan of The Clarks, but they sang a variety of songs together.
All WPIAL baseball playoff games today and tomorrow have been postponed. The WPIAL is working on a new schedule that should be released later today.
One to watch
A young basketball player I like more and more is North Allegheny's Anthony Dallier. He's only a sophomore and was the leading scorer on a team that made the state semifinals this season. I've seen him a few more times in spring leagues and really like his game. No, he's not a future top 50 player in the country, but he certainly has a lot of potential with his versatility, long arms and 6-foot-5 frame. I'm ready to call him the Gordon Hayward of WPIAL basketball. Now hold on. Don't take that comment the wrong way. I'm not saying Dallier will be as good as Hayward, who led Butler University to the NCAA title game and will most likely be a first-round NBA draft pick.
I'm just saying Dallier has a style similar to Hayward, in that he's long, he's versatile, can shoot the 3, can use his size to score some inside, can handle the ball and plays pretty good defense.
Probably a lot of Dallier's college future will depend on how much more he grows and how much quicker and athletic he can become. I'm not sure yet what level he'll fit in college. But on the high school level, he's nice to watch.
Good story on Maxpreps.com about how foreign-born players are having an effect on high school basketball in the United States.