The Life of John Silan

John Silan, Berks county's all-time winning basketball coach, was dead on arrival Tuesday afternoon in Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, near Allentown.

The 69-year-old coach's death followed a series of medical problems that had forced him into retirement in 1987, following an 80-day stint in a hospital.

In a coaching career that spanned 41 years, Silan, 257 Highland Ave., Kutztown, had a 527-117 scholastic record. His record made him one of the leading coaches in Pennsylvania scholastic basketball history.

Silan last coached in 1986-87 at Kutztown High School, where he began his career. He resigned last November after suffering heart problems that included the replacement of a heart valve and the implantation of a seventh pacemaker.

He began a 19-year coaching stint at Kutztown in 1946, going on to win 15 division titles, 12 Berks championships, and eight District 3 championships.

Kutztown won state Class B championships in 1950, 1951, and 1959. The third state championship capped a 29-0 season.

A chance to become the first Pennsylvania school to win three straight state championships weas stopped in 1952 when the Cougars lost 64-62 to Avalon in overtime.

His only losing season (7-13) was his first one at Kutztown.

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Veteran, WW II

Military Service

World War II
Purple Heart

Photo Album