Skiles back at Bentworth again
Perhaps, for Ron Skiles and Bentworth, the third time will be the charm.
Skiles was hired Tuesday night to coach the struggling Bearcats football program. This will mark his third stint coaching at his alma mater.
Skiles led the Bearcats through some of their glory years in football from 1980-88 and compiled an impressive 58-23 record.
He left at that time to devote more time to trying to earn a tour card with the PGA.
Skiles also spent some time serving as an assistant/consultant to several area schools, including Charleroi and Belle Vernon Area.
He returned to take over the Bentworth program from 2003-06 and had a record of 13-26-1. However, he faced a massive rebuilding job and led the team to the WPIAL playoffs in 2005 when the Bearcats went 6-5, their only winning record in more than a decade.
“I had been interested in getting back into coaching and I'm excited about this job,” Skiles said. “I've kept up on football, studied a lot. I know what's going on.”
Skiles replaces Bob Niziol, who resigned suddenly after two seasons on the job.
“Bob came to me out of the blue and said that he always preached commitment to his players and now he has to be committed to his wife and family,” said Bentworth Athletic Director George Linck. “They just had a baby (this week). He was all set to be re-named the coach and had second thoughts because of family responsibilities.”
Linck said the district is thrilled to have Skiles return to guide the program again.
“Ron knows the kids. He knows the program and is popular in the community,” Linck said. “We're looking for him to give us a kick-start and make us competitive again.”
Linck said three people were interviewed for the job before Skiles was chosen.
He was hired for one year, with Linck saying that all coaches are hired on a yearly basis.
Like the last time he returned, Skiles faces a big rebuilding job.
In two seasons, Niziol went 3-15 coaching the Bearcats.
In fact, since Skiles left after the 2006 season, Bentworth has gone 11-54. Its best record was 3-7 in 2008.
“I know it is a rebuilding job. I'm going to see what kind of athletes are in the school,” Skiles said. “I know the kids are there. I'm going to get them to come out and see what happens.”
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.