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Deer Lakes loses football coach to Northgate

| Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, 11:03 p.m.

Discouraging times continue for the Deer Lakes football program.

The coach Deer Lakes hired in January 2013 to turn its struggling football program around, T.J. Wiley, finished his first season winless. The district opened its head football coach position Monday night at about the same time Northgate approved Wiley as its new coach — the same program that Wiley coached in 2011-12, and then left in 2013 to lead the Lancers.

“I was up front with (Deer Lakes athletic director) Chuck (Bellisario) about the whole thing, and he said, ‘Just keep me posted,' ” Wiley said. “I've always loved Northgate. ... I never thought the Northgate thing was going to come about again. I didn't apply anywhere else. It was only Northgate. I wasn't sniffing around.”

Wiley, whose head coaching career started with a one-season stint at Penn-Trafford and continued with a 10-9 record at Northgate, cited a commute from his job in Robinson Township to West Deer — one he said that lasted more than an hour and 20 minutes because of road construction — as a key reason to leave Deer Lakes and return to the Flames.

“I wasn't there enough, and I wasn't feeling (like I was) a part of it,” Wiley said of Deer Lakes, a school that appealed to him because of its proximity to his home. “This has nothing to do with the record. I just felt like I was doing a disservice by not being around.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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