Wed, Mar. 09, 2005
High school football
Nanticoke considers ex-coach
Bill Goodman, who left the post in 1989, is the front-runner.
By jerzar@leader.net

Greater Nanticoke Area may reach into its past to rebuild its slumping football program.

Bill Goodman, Nanticoke’s head coach from 1982-89, has emerged as the likely choice to take over a program that has had two winning seasons in 10 years.

Three sources close to the situation said Goodman has emerged as the front-runner.

“I’d say it’s 85-90 percent (he’ll be hired),” said one of the sources.

District Superintendent Tony Perrone said it was probable a new coach would be appointed during Monday’s school board meeting. He said there were 12 applicants, but was unsure who the choice would be.

The regular meeting was moved from tonight because the girls basketball team is playing in the PIAA Class 3A playoffs in Allentown.

“Nobody has said anything from the school board or I haven’t felt any vibes whether I’m in or out,” Goodman said. “I don’t know whether it’s a feeling in my heart or what it is, but I don’t want to see the football program die. I’m not saying I’m a savior; I just feel like I can do something.”

Goodman, 54, is a teacher in the junior high school and will retire after the school year. In eight years as head coach, he compiled a 35-51-1 record. The school board opened his position by a 9-0 vote a few months after the Trojans finished 3-5-1 in 1989 and replaced him with Paul Marranca.

Board Vice President Ken James said no decision has been made, but believes a new coach will be hired Monday.

“We want to try and get this squared away,” James said. “I don’t know who you talked to, but nothing is set yet. Everybody knows what’s going to happen except the people who sat in (the interviews). Nothing is decided.”

According to a source, Goodman and former Bishop O’Reilly head coach Lou Cella appeared to emerge as the finalists from the candidates.

“I thought (the interview) went well,” Cella said. “I wish them luck in whatever they do.”

Cella was recently a finalist for the head coaching position at DuBois Area, where recently appointed Pittston Area coach Lon Hazlet coached this past year.

Nanticoke has been searching for a new coach since Jan. 7, when Len Butczynski resigned after four seasons and a 9-31 record. Butczynski, a middle school teacher at Wyoming Valley West, cited low numbers as one of the reasons for resigning. Nanticoke had 30 players on its preseason roster and the total dwindled during the season because of injuries.

“It’s been about 15 years since I’ve coached and I decided maybe I can do something to change things around,” Goodman said. “I know the numbers have been small the last couple of years. When I coached, there were about 50-some guys out. I thought maybe I can turn it around.”

Should the board select Goodman, the move wouldn’t be unprecedented.

Mickey Gorham coached 22 years at Meyers, retired in 1988 for two years, then returned for the 1990 and 1991 seasons. Paul Marranca coached Wyoming Area from 1976-1986, replaced Goodman at Nanticoke in 1990 and returned to Wyoming Area in 1992.

Nanticoke was 1-9 this season and finished last among 16 Wyoming Valley Conference teams in points scored (81) and points allowed (375). The Trojans’ only victory came in the season opener, a 13-12 victory against Bishop Hafey.

Trojan Sports