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Charleroi boys soccer coach Villella stepping down ... again

| Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Charleroi soccer coach Tom Villella, shown standing behind his team bench, will not be coaching Charleroi's section game Saturday, Oct. 6, because of an ejection the previous game. Paul Saunders photo.

When Tom Villella became the head boys' soccer coach at Charleroi the second time around, he thought his stint would last longer than two seasons.

But it has not.

Villella turned in his resignation recently for what he termed “personal reasons” and is walking away after 31 years as either an assistant or head coach at his alma mater.

Villella ran the boys' program for 10 years in his first term as coach before resigning. He came back two seasons ago to take over the program again.

“I thought I would be here at least another five or six years, but it isn't going to happen,” Villella said. “And I'm not happy about it. I resigned, but regrettably so. I just can't give the program the time it requires for me to be the head coach.”

Villella said when he first told the players they thought he was joking.

“They didn't believe me,” he said. “Believe me, stepping down was not something I wanted to do, but I have to. Nobody is forcing me out. It's my decision and it is a tough one that I agonized over.

“I've been around this program a long time, whether as an assistant or the head coach, and it is not something that is easy to give up. I always did what I thought was best for the kids.”

Charleroi went 9-6-2 last season and 16-14-3 in Villella's two recent campaigns.

He started in 1982 as an unpaid assistant under then-head coach Dennis Laskey. When Laskey left to become the head men's coach at California University of Pennsylvania, Villella became the assistant coach. He served from 1984 to 1990 under Ed Corona, who had been Laskey's assistant.

From 1991 to 2000, Villella was the head coach. He resigned when his daughter was born, but served as an unpaid assistant under Watkins.

He said he leaving a program that is in good shape, talentwise.

“We have some really good young kids here that I was looking forward to seeing through the program,” Villella said. “I'm still around the kids. I'm running the summer program and I'm still the coach until they replace me. But they will replace me soon.”

Charleroi Athletic Director Bill Wiltz said the soccer opening was posted internally for 10 days, as contractually required, and will soon be put out for public interest.

“We need to hire a replacement by the July (16) meeting,” Wiltz said.

Wiltz said he was caught a little off guard by Villella's resignation, but said the coach had spoken to him a little while back and gave him a hint it may come to this.

“He told me he had some personal things that could cause him ultimately to resign,” Wiltz said. “He was going to see if he could avoid it.”

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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