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Jenkins stepping down at Charleroi

| Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:21 a.m.
Charleroi head footbal coach Ed Jenkins photographed during practice on August 15, 2012 in Charleroi.
Rich Downer/For The Valley Independent
The strain of Friday's tough 30-27 loss to Southmoreland shows on the face of Charleroi coach Ed Jenkins.

Charleroi Area will be in the market for a new football coach after Ed Jenkins turned in his resignation after two seasons due to health reasons.

Jenkins, who became a popular person within the Charleroi community in his two years, said he wrestled with his decision for a few months before realizing it was best for his health.

Jenkins said he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy two years ago and his condition has not improved enough for him to coach at this time.

“Basically, my cardiologist told me I have the heart of a 60-year-old,” said Jenkins, 38. “I just felt that the stress of coaching is too much for me to chance right now.”

Jenkins, whose record is 4-14 in two seasons at Charleroi, said he had an episode in December and he had been weighing his options since.

“I'm wrapped pretty tight on Friday night and I just don't think coaching is a good idea for me right now,” he said.

Charleroi Athletic Director Bill Wiltz said that losing Jenkins is a big blow to the district, but he wasn't completely surprised when the coach called him on Friday to tell him.

“I knew he was having some health issues and, honestly, I noticed he wasn't himself lately,” Wiltz said. “I figured something was up.”

Jenkins said after he spoke to Wiltz, he called his staff Friday evening and then he met with the players Monday afternoon.

“It was a very emotional meeting,” Jenkins said of talking to the team. “They cried. I cried. It's just something you don't look forward to doing. It's a great group of kids and I was honored to have worked with them.”

Jenkins said he feels fine and has lost 50 pounds since December. However, he said if his current regimen of medication doesn't change things, he may need treatment.

“It's not like I'm leaving Charleroi to go somewhere else,” he said. “One thing I can say is that I had great cooperation from the administration and the community. Everything I ever asked for I was given. I had all the resources I ever needed.

“I don't regret anything at Charleroi, except for not winning more games. But I do think we were close. I thought next season would be the one for us with what we have coming back.”

Jenkins said he loves coaching and if his health improves down the road, he may get back in it. But that is not a consideration right now.

Wiltz said he expects the school board to act on Jenkins' resignation at tonight's meeting and then, “We are going to get right on trying to find a replacement.”

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

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