Win Palmer, the athletic director at Sewickley Academy for the past 22 years, passed away on Thursday at the age of 65. Palmer was known for his dedication, wisdom, and humility, and he made a lasting impact on the Sewickley Academy and WPIAL sports communities. He was one of the most successful coaches in WPIAL boys basketball history and led his boys golf team to numerous WPIAL championships.
Tom Droney, who played basketball for Palmer, spoke highly of his former coach, describing him as a genuine person who developed strong relationships with everyone at Sewickley Academy. Palmer was respected and admired for his ability to evaluate players’ skill sets and help them improve. Beyond coaching, Palmer was the athletic director at Sewickley and oversaw the softball program for 14 seasons.
During his time at Sewickley, Palmer achieved remarkable success. Panthers athletes and teams won 16 PIAA titles, 55 WPIAL championships, and 108 section crowns. Sewickley also received 15 Trib Total Media/MSA Sports Cups, which recognize the best overall athletic program in the WPIAL in a specific classification. Palmer’s coaching success extended to boys golf and basketball, as well. The golf team won 12 WPIAL team championships since 2006 and secured three PIAA titles. In basketball, the Panthers won five WPIAL titles and a PIAA championship under Palmer’s leadership.
Palmer’s impact was not limited to athletics. He served on various committees and was involved in leadership and speaking engagements. He believed in the importance of persistence and learning from failure in order to achieve success. Palmer’s dedication to his craft and the students he coached is evident in his remarkable career record of 674-321 in boys basketball and 704-317 overall (including his stint as a girls basketball coach).
Win Palmer leaves behind a legacy of excellence and genuine relationships at Sewickley Academy. His impact will be remembered and cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.