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Humbert is looking for numbers at BVA

Jim Ference ? The Valley Independent
Former Ringgold football coach Matt Humbert said recruiting more numbers is his top priority right now as the Belle Vernon Area coach.

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Ringgold eyes April hiring

Ringgold has been advertising for a new football coach outside the district since late last week and will continue to accept applications until March 12.

Athletic Director Ron McMichael said after the deadline to apply for the opening passes, the district will start the process of reviewing applicants.

“In a perfect world, we would like to find a replacement in March, but that's probably not going to happen,” McMichael said. “I think it is more reasonable to assume that we should hire a new coach in April.”

McMichael said no Ringgold teachers applied for the job, but added that he is getting a lot of interest from outside the school district.

— Jeff Oliver

Top high school sports
Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 12:41 a.m.

Now that the dust has settled from his departure from Ringgold, new Belle Vernon Area football coach Matt Humbert says he sees exciting things with the Leps.

But it's going to take a lot of work.

Humbert was hired at BVA Feb. 24 as football coach and landed a teaching position in the school district. He currently is a teacher at Bentworth.

The Leps' new coach said he has met with the players and held two “recruiting” visits within district schools and is very optimistic.

“There is a little excitement in the atmosphere,” Humbert said. “I held two recruiting visits and I have 110 kids signed up for the football program. Now, I know I won't get 110 kids out, but if I get 40 percent of that, I will be very pleased.”

Humbert said he has been putting in a lot of time studying what the Leps have coming back, and he sees a lot to like about his first team already.

“They have some aggressive linemen coming back, a quarterback (Travis Snyder) who can throw and some young quarterbacks with potential,” he said. “There is talent there, obviously. What I just need to do is develop that talent, expand on it.”

Humbert said BVA offers an outstanding opportunity, not only in potential talent, but in support from the administration.

“The kids seem like they want to play. They seem excited,” he said. “The administration is very supportive, which is attractive to me.”

Humbert said his top priority is getting kids involved with the program.

“We have to get the numbers up,” he said. “We have to get kids playing and then develop those kids. Recruiting is at the top of my list right now.”

Humbert said his coaching staff is complete and he will have nine assistants — including eight from Ringgold — and said some of them will be volunteers.

Looking back on his departure from Ringgold, Humbert said he was extremely thankful for not only the players he left behind, but also for the parents.

He met with the Ringgold players last week and said going in it was a meeting he dreaded to the point it made him feel ill.

“I got sick to my stomach worrying about meeting with those kids, who I really care a lot about,” he said. “But I can honestly say everybody at Ringgold handled things with class. The players, the parents, they know why I did this. They know it was a big opportunity for my family. They were understanding and supportive and that made it a lot easier on me.

“Of course, I will miss those kids.”

Humbert said he had tried for four years to get a commitment out of Ringgold for his career and added, “for some reason it never came about. I feel fortunate to have that commitment from Belle Vernon Area.”

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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