2019 NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame Preview-Ken Strube

Author: Antony Mantova, Intern


Ken Strube is one of the most decorated girls basketball coaches in New York State currently holding the record for most career wins in Section 2 and ranking in the top five in the entire state. Strube began as a teacher and volunteer assistant coach at Shenendehowa High School before taking over the varsity program in 1979 and compiling a remarkable 588-156 record for a .790 win percentage until retirement in 2012. His teams won the NYSPHSAA State Championship four times and also captured 22 Suburban Council Championships, ten Section 2 titles, and nine Regional Championships. His Lady Plainsmen went undefeated in league play nine times, notched 112 consecutive league wins from 1986-94, and streaked to 13 consecutive Suburban Council titles from 1987-99.  Ken closed out his career with Shen winning another seven consecutive Suburban Council Championships from 2006-12.  His accolades are unprecedented having been named Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) Coach of the Year twice, NYS Sportswriters Association Coach of the Year four times, WBCA District 2 Coach of the Year once, League Coach of the Year 22 times, Section Coach of the Year 13 times, and Coach of the Year dozens of times by the Saratogian, Troy Record, and Times Union.  Strube also coached in the 2008 WBCA Nike High School All-American Game. Ken, a Colonie High School (Section 2) graduate in 1971, is an inductee of the Shenendehowa High School Sports Hall of Fame, Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame, and the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.  He additionally served as the Suburban Council Girls Basketball Chairman and was a member of the Section 2 Girls Basketball Committee from 1982-99. Ken currently is he co-chairman of the Shenendehowa Athletic Hall of Fame committee and a charter member of the BCANY.  He earned a Bachelors in Mathematics from Ithaca in 1975, an Advanced Classroom Teaching certification from UAlbany in 1980, and an Accounting degree from Siena in 1989. 


“I was stunned and honored when I got the call from Dr. Robert Zayas telling me that I would be a 2019 Inductee to the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame,” said Strube. “As a Coach who loved what I was doing, I received my rewards when we prepared for the challenges ahead during a particular season and then met them.  The NYSPHSAA is the governing body of high school sports in New York State.   Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being inducted into its Hall of Fame.  This is the pinnacle for any athlete, coach, or administrator in New York State.”


Throughout his coaching career Strube accumulated many memories. “Some of the obvious cherished memories are the State Championships and those outstanding teams.  But to be honest, I really loved our practices throughout each season and seeing our team’s performances getting more and more “tight” as the season progressed.  The closeness of our coaching staff, players, and parents is also a cherished memory from year to year.  Getting together after games and pre-game dinners will always be favorites too,” said Strube.


Opportunity is something Strube is thankful for and wanted to pass on to his athletes. “I had such a great athletic experience in high school that I thought becoming a teacher and coach would be an opportunity to possibly give other student/athletes a similar experience to mine. Originally my plan was to replace Mickey Mantle as the Yankee’s centerfielder.  However, this guy named Bobby Murcer came along first.  In addition, I couldn’t even crack the starting lineup at my college alma mater, Ithaca College.”


He currently resides in Albany with his wife, Jo-Ann, and the couple have two grown sons, Joe and Frank.


The Class of 2019 will be inducted into the NYSPHSAA Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 31st as part of the 96th annual Central Committee Meeting at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona.