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High school roundup: Gateway, Ambridge, Bentworth hire football coaches

Ronald Vezzani Jr. | For the Daily News - Clairton coach Tom Nola looks to the sideline during game action against Chartiers-Houston on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, at Neil C. Brown Stadium.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Ronald Vezzani Jr.  |  For the Daily News</em></div>Clairton coach Tom Nola looks to the sideline during game action against Chartiers-Houston on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, at Neil C. Brown Stadium.
Barry Reeger/Tribune-Review - Ron Skiles
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger/Tribune-Review</em></div>Ron Skiles

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Staff Reports
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:57 p.m.

Gateway School Board members officially hired Tom Nola as the district's varsity football coach Wednesday night, selecting the longtime Clairton coach to replace Donnie Militzer, who was not retained after one season.

Board members approved the hire 8-0 with school director Neal Nola — Tom's brother — abstaining.

He will be paid $8,800.

Nola led Clairton to a 141-22 record in 12 seasons, which included six WPIAL and four PIAA championships in Class A. His playoff record was 48-7.

Clairton won a nation's best 66 games from 2009-13, a streak that ended last fall against Monessen.

Nola also previously coached at Serra Catholic.

The Gateway School Board discussed a proposed anti-nepotism policy in 2012 but didn't vote on the policy, district spokesperson Cara Zanella said.

Sto-Rox's Bradley hired at Ambridge

Ambridge School Board members voted to hire Sto-Rox's Dan Bradley as its new football coach Wednesday night, athletic director Shawn Besong said.

Bradley, who previously was an assistant coach at Sto-Rox, was 23-3 in two seasons as head coach and led the Vikings to the WPIAL championship game each year.

They lost to Clairton in 2012 and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic this past season.

He also coaches the Avonworth boys basketball team.

Skiles returns to Bentworth sideline

Perhaps, for Ron Skiles and Bentworth, the third time will be the charm.

Skiles was hired Tuesday night to lead the Bearcats football program, his third stint coaching at his alma mater.

Skiles led the Bearcats to a 58-23 record from 1980-88 before leaving to try to earn his PGA Tour card. He returned from 2003-06 and had a record of 13-26-1.

Skiles replaces Bob Niziol, who resigned after two seasons (3-15) to spend more time with his family.

“Ron knows the kids. He knows the program and is popular in the community,” athletic director George Linck said. “We're looking for him to give us a kick-start and make us competitive again.”

Gymnastics champion stripped of medal

The WPIAL Board of Control voted Tuesday to take back the gymnastics gold medal won by Franklin Regional's Emily Vannatta because she should have competed in a higher division.

Vannatta placed first on the bars in the Intermediate I division, but she belonged in the Advanced group for the Feb. 8 championship, the WPIAL decided after a complaint was made.

The gold will be awarded instead to runner-up Mackenzie Kraft of Moon.

Top girls basketball coaches nominated

Mt. Lebanon's Dori Oldaker and Westinghouse's Phyllis Jones are nominees in USA Today's search for the country's best high school girls basketball coach.

Oldaker has won more than 250 games, including three WPIAL and PIAA Class AAAA titles.

Jones was named national coach of the year in 2000 and had led Westinghouse to 26 straight City League championship game appearances before this season. To vote, visit

Nominations open for Norwin Hall of Fame

The Norwin Athletic Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for the Class of 2014. Nomination forms are available under Athletic Department.

Deadline for nominations is March 31.

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