|It has been said that you cannot go home again,
but James (Red) McNie would seem to defy that philosophy. The Aliquippa
High School graduate took a circuitous route back to his alma mater.
After serving in the Pacific Theater in the latter stages of World
War II, he attended Shippensburg State College from 1947 to 1951,
where he played three years of basketball, winning two letters. Upon
graduating from Shippensburg, he decided to enter the industrial
world and was employed by Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp in Aliquippa.
After eighteen years, Red decided his life needed a change, so he got into teaching and coaching. He was hired as an assistant
at Aliquippa for the 1969-1970 season and eventually became head
coach of the Quips in 1976. From then until his retirement in 1993,
Aliquippa basketball knew nothing but success. During that period, his teams
compiled a 363-120 record that included ten section titles and a
WPIAL record fourteen consecutive playoff appearances.
His teams reached the WPIAL title game three times, winning the
championship twice, and also played for the PIAA title three times,
winning once. Additionally, his Quips reached the WPIAL semifinals
eight times and the PIAA semifinals four times and were always a
force to be reckoned. Red was selected Coach of the Year on five
occasions. He was a coach in the 1977 Quigley Classic and in 1983
coached the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic. His overall record was 456-140 and his teams won 85 percent of their section
games. Red also played baseball for the Aliquippa White Sox,
softball for Barney, and basketball in the J&L Industrial League.