ShareThis Page

Former Woodland Hills coach Novak plans to stay retired after his replacement resigns

Chris Harlan
| Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, 4:18 p.m.
Woodland Hills head coach George Novak stands with Woodland Hills’ Mike Whiteherse during a football game against Penn Trafford in Harrison City on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Penn-Trafford won 26-7.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Woodland Hills head coach George Novak stands with Woodland Hills’ Mike Whiteherse during a football game against Penn Trafford in Harrison City on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Penn-Trafford won 26-7.
Kevin Murray (center) and former athletic director and football coach George Novak (right) listen to board discussion while protesters voice their objections at the Woodland Hills School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 20. The board voted 5-4 to hire Murray as head coach.
Kevin Murray (center) and former athletic director and football coach George Novak (right) listen to board discussion while protesters voice their objections at the Woodland Hills School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 20. The board voted 5-4 to hire Murray as head coach.

This is the first August in 40 years that George Novak won't spend on a football field, so instead the WPIAL Hall of Fame coach used Wednesday to help his son install a floor.

“It's tough,” Novak said of a fall without football. “If my wife didn't have so many chores for me to do, it'd be tougher. I'm busy all day.”

The former Woodland Hills coach and athletic director said he's received a few phone calls and text messages asking whether he'd now consider a return, but Novak reiterated: “I'm retired.”

The comeback questions came after his replacement, Kevin Murray, resigned before coaching a game, and with preseason workouts now underway. WPIAL football teams started their heat acclimation period Monday. The first official practice date is Aug. 14.

“I think (Murray) would have done a great job, he was trained to be a head coach,” said Novak, who'd endorsed Murray for the job. “With what's going on with him and the principal's job, he didn't want to put the team in the middle of everything. So he thought it was best for him to resign.”

Novak said top assistant Tim Bostard, who coached and played under Novak, should replace Murray. Bostard, who declined comment Wednesday, also serves as Woodland Hills' assistant athletic director.

“He deserves it,” Novak said. “He's been with the program 12 years. He knows all aspects of the game.”

Novak retired after last season with a 306-139-3 career record, making him one of only three WPIAL football coaches to reach the 300-win mark. He was inducted this summer into the WPIAL Hall of Fame.

He said Wednesday that he didn't see any scenario that would lead him back to the Wolvarena sideline.

“Not at this time, no,” Novak said. “It's a year-round commitment for me. Tim and I ran the weight program with a couple of people. I had all my staff, some older coaches, and they all retired too.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.