Shamokin to hire Yisrael Monday
Yaacov Yisrael will be the next head football coach at Shamokin Area.
A fax sent Thursday by district Superintendent James Zack, announced a public meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. "for the purpose of hiring a head football coach," while board President Brian Persing confirmed that the board has decided to hire Yisrael, who was the head coach at Halifax the last two seasons, over former North Schuykill and Cardinal Brennan head coach Rick Geist and six other applicants.
"We brought him in tonight," Persing said. "Once (Mike) Gurski resigned, the consensus was Yaacov."
The decision comes a week after a letter written by former Shamokin defensive coordinator Mike Gurski was published in The News-Item, in which he formally withdrew his name from further consideration.
Gurski's decision came after board members had a "spirited, heated debate" privately following initial interviews and was confronted by people on the street concerning his candidacy to be coach.
Despite it all, Persing believes the board has decided on the right candidate to lead the Indians.
"I'm glad it's over," Persing said. "I have the best interests of Shamokin athletes and the district at heart.
"Whoever the coach is, he still has my full support. I hope he does the job."
Yisrael was a standout safety under Coach Joe Paterno at Penn State University in the early 2000s. He became head coach of the Halifax Wildcats in 2011 and has records of 4-6 in each of his first two seasons for teams that were often out-manned but credited for playing hard.
After the board meeting Monday, a "Meet the Coach" session for players, parents and fans is scheduled for Yisrael to introduce himself.