Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fetzer resigns as Penn Cambria coach

Big things were expected from the Penn Cambria football team this season, but a four-game losing streak ended any hopes of winning a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference champions and has the Panthers clinging to postseason hopes.

Ernie Fetzer went 48-36 at Penn Cambria.
Penn Cambria was the preseason favorite to win the LHAC, which Richland wrapped up last Friday. The Panthers are ranked ninth in the District 6 Class AA playoff standings. The top eight teams make the playoffs.

Now, Penn Cambria (4-4) was dealt another blow before Saturday's game at Westmont Hilltop when Ernie Fetzer resigned as football coach and athletic director on Wednesday, effective immediately.

Assistant coach Tony Tomaselli will serve as Penn Cambria interim coach for the remainder of the season. Penn Cambria Principal William Marshall and Assistant Principal Dane Harrold will fulfill athletic director duties until a replacement is hired.

The news may surprise many, but according to at least one Penn Cambria player on Twitter, Fetzer's resignation was anything but surprising.

Senior linebacker/receiver Mack Behe tweeted Wednesday, "yeah I saw it coming he talked to me and devin all week about how disappointed he was with the season."

Devin Lawhead, another senior standout, tweeted, "Ernie Fetzer has just quit the head coach of the Penn Cambria football team.. "

Fetzer planned to retire as football coach and athletic director, which is a part-time position, at the end of the school year.

"We had been anticipating this but we hadn't announced he was planning to retire because he did not want it to be a distraction to the team," Penn Cambria Superintendent Mary Beth Whited said.

Whited said she and other school administrators met with Fetzer on Wednesday to talk him into completing the season.

"(Fetzer) is an outstanding individual of true character who did so many good things," Whited said. "What bothers me most about the timing is we don't want a cloud hanging over him."

Fetzer, who could not be reached for contact Wednesday night, went 48-36 in his eight years with Penn Cambria. The 64-year-old Fetzer compiled an 182-127-3 coaching record with previous stops including Westmont and Somerset.

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