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Search for new Gateway coach could end soon

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Gateway athletic director Randy Rovesti said Monday the search for a new varsity football head coach might soon be coming to an end.

He said the Gateway School Board could vote to hire a coach at its meeting next Wednesday.

Rovesti again could not comment on specific candidates who are finalists for the position or how many were interviewed.

Several candidates have been and are still being considered for the position, and some of those names have become known over the past several weeks.

Rovesti did confirm that a pool of several qualified candidates have been interviewed, and that everyone involved with the situation is eager to have a coach in place so that offseason workouts and preparation for the 2014 season can continue.

The search for a new Gators head coach began in December after Donnie Militzer's job was opened after his one season at the helm.

Militzer was hired last April after a process of several months in the wake of the resignation of former coach and athletic director Terry Smith.

Smith, who coached as an assistant at Temple this past fall, is the new defensive backs coach at Penn State.

The Gators went 6-2 (third place) in the Quad East and 8-3 overall in Militzer's one season.

They made it to the WPIAL quarterfinals before falling to eventual WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 27-21.

It was announced in December that Gateway would drop down to Class AAA based on the current enrollment figures of male students in grades nine through 11.

Last month, the WPIAL placed the Gators in the Greater Allegheny Conference with the likes of Highlands, Indiana, Mars, Knoch and rival Franklin Regional.

Gateway and Franklin Regional are slated to meet in the final game of the regular-season Oct. 24 at the home of the Panthers.

The Gators were a senior-laden team in 2013, and numerous starting positions will be up for grabs.

The returning players who are not involved with winter sports have been working with coach Kurt Martin in offseason weight room training and other conditioning workouts.

Martin also worked with the team last year while the program was without a head coach.

“Kurt has been extremely valuable to the kids,” Rovesti said.

“He's had the weight room open for the kids so they can continue their important training. Cam Saddler and Shayne Hale have also done a nice job pitching in for the good of the kids. They both know what it takes.”

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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