Local University Basketball Coach Juggles Busy Season & Mummers Parade Preparations

From elaborate framed costumes to braided heads of hair, Mummers wear it all come New Year’s Day. But it’s what some of these guys do for a living when they’re not marching down Broad Street that may catch some of the people who know them best off guard.

John Baron is Head Coach of Gwynedd Mercy University men's basketball team by day and Hegeman String Band captain by night.

He juggles practices, games and weekend tournaments all while prepping the string band for New Year's Day. Not to mention, he's a busy father of two.

"We say we surround ourselves with very good people, the coaches continue to work on the process and because of that we hope we can get a good product at the end. Those three words are kind of what we do in our string band too and our hope is that on New Year's Day we have a pretty good product also," said Baron.

The bright sequins and feathers aren't any surprise to John's family and friends, but for his basketball players it's different.

"I never really heard of a Mummer. When he's on the court, he's real serious so just to see him in costume like smiling, dancing and playing an instrument it was different," said senior guard Courtney Cubbage.

John said he tries to keep his coaching and Mummer lives separate, but it's difficult around parade time.

"I get razzed a lot on January 2nd and January 3rd depending on what our theme is and depending on what character I am."

John recently celebrated his 300th win and when asked whether this winning streak would continue...

"My answer to that is we'll see New Year's Day."

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