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Bechtell resigns as Penn-Trafford boys golf coach

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

One of Penn-Trafford's more tenured coaches has signed his scorecard for the final time.

Walt Bechtell, an English teacher at Penn-Trafford High School and the varsity boys golf coach for the last 14 years, had his resignation from the coaching position accepted by the school board at its meeting last month. He will continue to teach at the high school.

Bechtell's tenure featured a number of talented individual golfers who earned WPIAL and PIAA medals for the Warriors, multiple section titles, seven trips to the WPIAL playoffs and spots in the WPIAL Division I final in 2007 and 2009.

He resigned from the position for personal reasons, two years after also stepping down as an assistant baseball coach.

“When I started to think about what to say about coaching these kids for 14 years, going up and down the fairways with them, I do have lots of fond memories,” Bechtell said.

“I could sit all day and churn through all of them, one after another, but I wouldn't want to single any of them out and risk leaving out some of the great guys that have gone through here.”

Bechtell said the biggest thing he'll remember about coaching isn't any of the wins or any of the specific seasons for his team. Instead, it's the personalities and the ongoing friendships that endure in his mind.

“What happens when you build a program up for that long, you keep those kids stored in your phone book. I've been to weddings for some of these kids. I've met their wives; I've met their kids,” Bechtell said. “It's really been a great career.”

Bechtell won't be staying away from the golf course just because he isn't coaching. His daughter, Abby, is a member of the Warriors girls golf team, and he said he'll take the additional free time to attend more of her matches.

As for the boys golf team, the school district has posted the coaching position for interested applicants. Athletic director Kerry Hetrick said he isn't allowed to comment on the vacancy because it is a personnel matter, but he did say that the school hopes to have a new coach hired within the next two months.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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