Rich Sonson was born and raised in
Washington, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Immaculate Conception High
School and California University of Pennsylvania. He played basketball
for IC and graduated in 1964.
After graduation Rich enlisted for 4 years in the United States Navy,
stationed most of his tour of duty in Norfolk, Virginia and aboard the
USS Ozark with duty in Vietnam. When he was honorably discharged from
the Navy he became a student at California University where he earned a
Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education. His first teaching
job was at Carlynton High School were he stayed 35 years until his
retirement June 2003.
His coaching career started when he was in 9th grade coaching a Pinto
team for Washington Youth Baseball. He also coached in the Mustang and
Colt Leagues and later became President of Colt League. His high school
coaching stint started as head baseball coach and assistant basketball
coach as well as a few years in the Junior High Football program at
Carlynton High School.
His baseball career as Carlynton head coach for 31 years earned him a
record of 315 wins and 218 loses for a winning percentage of 602. His
team won two section championships and appeared in 20 playoff games.
His 22-year basketball coaching career record at Carlynton was 321 wins
and 228 losses for a winning percentage of .585. Rich led his team to 7
Section Championships, 11 consecutive years to the WPIAL Playoffs and 11
out of 13 years in the PIAA Playoffs. His 1981 team was the PIAA
Runner-up, the WPIAL Champion in 1988 the WPIAL Runner-up in 1992 and
the 1992 PIAA Class "AA" champions.
Rich was named the Post Gazette Coach of the Year for 1992-1993, Tribune
Review Coach of the Year and the West Coach of the Roundball Classic. He
is presently a full time barber and is assisting in the Chartiers-Houston
High School basketball program.