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Palermo receives another call to the hall

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

A 2012 photo of Bill Palermo out on the field coaching Sto-Rox girls softball.

Most winningest softball coach to join WPIAL Hall of Fame’s 2023 class

By Ken Hohman

Sto-Rox's one-and-only softball coach, Bill Palermo, is once again a WPIAL Hall of Famer.

Palermo, who founded the Sto-Rox team in 1985 and coached until 2013 leading the Lady Vikings to a PIAA and 10 WPIAL titles along the way, was inducted Jan. 19. Over his career he also coached girls teams at Carlynton, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Montour.

Palermo ushered his teams to an incredible 35 consecutive winning seasons. He is being honored for his achievements as both a basketball and softball coach.

“Ever since I was a little kid the WPIAL meant a lot to me, the playoffs and playing in the WPIAL and I never thought about making the Hall of Fame, I just thought about making my kids better one day at a time. Then it happened with a little bit of luck, great mentors, amazing players and very supportive parents,” Palermo said.

Palermo said he began coaching track and field for half a season in 1977. His softball coaching career began in 1978 and continued until his retirement in 2013.

When Palermo retired he had a 587-135 record which then made him the all-time winningest girls softball coach in the WPIAL.

In the years Palermo coached at Sto-Rox, he led the Vikings to 28 section titles – 27 of them consecutive – 10 WPIAL championships and seven runners-up honors. His impressive record includes one state title, three state runners-up titles, and a third-place win. After his departure in 2013, Sto-Rox eliminated the program.

His teams were not just known for their domination on the court and the field, but for academics. Six of his players were valedictorians and three were salutatorians. Many of his players were high honors and honor students during their time playing for the storied coach.

Palermo was the first girls basketball coach at OLSH and he also coached the sport at Sto-Rox, Carlynton and Montour. At each of those schools, he led the teams to the playoffs. At Sto-Rox and Carlynton he led his team to runners-up status in the WPIAL with 101 wins and 57 losses during his eight-year tenure as a head coach.

In total, Palermo won 21 WPIAL medals as a coach.

This will be the second time Palermo will be recognized as a WPIAL hall of famer. In 2019, he along with his state championship girls softball team was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

The banquet celebrating Palermo’s honor and the 14 other Hall of Fame inductees named alongside him will be held June 2.

Writers Elizabeth Perry and Mike Longo Jr. contributed to this story.



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