ALTOONA - Former Altoona Area High School boys basketball coach John Swogger has passed away at the age of 77.
With over 238 wins, Swogger was head-coach of the Altoona Mountain Lions from 1968 to 1980.
Many say Swogger brought the popularity of basketball to an all-time high in Central Pennsylvania during his time as head-coach.
"When he came to coach, he instilled an enthusiasm and this city just rallied behind the Mountain Lions," said Larry McAleer, who played for Swogger from 1971 to 1973.
"When I think of Coach Swogger, I think of his discipline and his will to win," McAleer said. "One of the things he's remembered most about is his fast break method that he practiced and performed during the game."
McAleer said he believed many coaches in the area still follow Swogger's blueprint with hopes of duplicating his success.
"We're going to miss him," McAleer said. "He was a great man, a hard working man, and dedicated to our sport and community."
After he finished coaching at Altoona Area High School in 1980, Swogger held countless basketball camps, and in 2006, he was inducted into the Blair County Sports Hall of Fame.
"This is most meaningful to me because this is my home," Swogger told WTAJ after winning the award in 1980.
Swogger is survived by his wife, six children and nineteen grandchildren.