Thursday, March 06, 2008

Penn Hills now has two football coaches

Penn Hills now has two football coaches Penn Hills now has two football coaches
Looks like Coach Gordon is finished with Penn Hills after the spring lifting ends.

The article says he did not get an interview. A date was set, but no make-up was given.

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Penn Hills hires new coach
By Tony LaRussa
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Penn Hills School Board Tuesday night tapped a longtime assistant coach to take over as the Indians' head football coach.

The nine-member board voted unanimously to hire Ron Graham to fill the position, which opened in January after the district decided not to renew the contract of Neil Gordon, whose agreement with the district expires in July.

"I'd like to thank the board and those who support me for giving me this opportunity," Graham said after the vote. "I'd like to continue the proud tradition that has been set here under coach Gordon, who was a mentor to me, and I'm looking forward to serving the kids and the community."

Graham, who lives in Penn Hills, has been an assistant football coach at Penn Hills for 10 years. He is the associate principal at the senior high school.

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"I'd like to commend the board for hiring Mr. Graham; our young student-athletes could not be in better hands for the development of their athleticism, character and academics," board member Barry Patterson said.

Graham is a graduate of Tuskegee University in Alabama and received a master's degree from Duquesne University.

His son, Ron Graham Jr., played football for Penn Hills and went on to play linebacker at Penn State from 1998 to 2003.

Graham was selected for the head coaching job from a field of 20 candidates, according to board members.

"Coach Graham is great to play for. He works us hard, and we look forward to playing for him as our head coach," said Tyler Berryman, 16, a junior receiver.

Gordon has been the head coach for 21 years and compiled a record of 158-72-3. His teams won WPIAL and PIAA championships in 1995 and reached the WPIAL title game in 2006 before losing to eventual state champion Upper St. Clair.

Gordon served as assistant football coach from 1971-81 and won another WPIAL title at Penn Hills when he was baseball coach.

Gordon was paid about $14,000 a year, which covered his coaching duties as well as coordinating events at the Bill Fralic Athletic Center.

The new salary for the head coach is expected to be about $8,200 because the scheduling duties are now handled by athletic director John Peterman.

Tony LaRussa can be reached at or 412-320-7987.