High school notebook: Former South Fayette QB to lead Chartiers Valley football

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 9:32 p.m.

Chartiers Valley hired Niel Loebig, a former college quarterback who passed for more than 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns, as the school's new coach.

But don't expect five-receiver formations every snap.

“A lot of people think that being a quarterback myself, I'm a pass guy,” Loebig said, “but actually, I'm a run guy first.”

Loebig, 30, led Duquesne to four straight conference titles and an NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major National Championship in 2003. He was an assistant coach with the Dukes this past season, coordinating the passing game and overseeing the wide receivers.

“We believe he can bring his experience at the college level to the high school level,” athletic director Frank Vulcano said. “We're excited to get started on a new era of Chartiers Valley football.”

The school board hired Loebig at Tuesday night's meeting, choosing him from among 40 applicants. He replaces Chris Saluga, who resigned in October after 12 seasons.

“I always looked up to Chartiers Valley and thought they had a lot of potential there,” said Loebig, a South Fayette graduate who threw for 5,589 yards and 65 touchdowns in high school.

Along with coaching Duquesne (2006-10, 2012), he also was an assistant in 2011 at Lely High School in Naples, Fla.

“High school football is something I always wanted to get back to,” Loebig said. “I want to be on that side, where I'm getting kids into college.”

Other WPIAL teams still without a football coach include Baldwin, Bishop Canevin, California, Canon-McMillan, Gateway, East Allegheny, Freedom, Imani Christian, McKeesport, North Hills, Northgate, Pine-Richland, Plum and Serra Catholic.

Smith speaks

A day after he decided to leave Gateway to be the wide receivers coach at Temple University, football coach and athletic director Terry Smith expressed his enthusiasm over his future position.

“The Gateway School Board pushed me out of the nest, but I found my wings,” said Smith, who plans to start immediately. “I always wanted to coach Division I athletics at a major conference school. Now I have the opportunity to do that.”

Board of control

The WPIAL approved fall alignments for the 2013-14 school year, with very few changes to this past year's sections. Football had no changes, and the other six sports were altered only when a program was folded or created. The changes were approved during Tuesday's board of control meeting.

Cross country will continue to have just two classifications for team competition, even though the PIAA has begun using three. But like last year, the WPIAL championship again will have three races.

Up in the ranks

Belle Vernon senior Dorian Johnson, a Pitt offensive line recruit, moved up 137 spots in the final Rivals player rankings for the class of 2013. Johnson is now a five-star prospect. He is the 13th ranked tackle in the nation. Central Valley senior wide receiver Robert Foster, an Alabama recruit, moved up 28 spots and is the 46th rated prospect in his class.

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