Coaldale Post Open Fourth Time in Four Years
(Reading Eagle, June 7, 1959)
Athletic coaching in this Schuylkill County community has become a one-year proposition in recent years.
The surprise resignation of William (Bill) Roller leaves Coaldale School Board with the task of picking a new head coach for the fourth time in as many years.
Only six men have coached football at Coaldale since the sport was inaugurated in 1921, and exactly half of them have been on the scene since 1956.
The late Irv Murphy was Coaldale’s first mentor. He was succeeded by Tom Raymer in 1924. Raymer, who is still a member of the faculty and serves as assistant in football and athletic director, came to the community in the mid 1920’s to play tackle for the famed professional Coaldale Big Green.
Raymer directed Coaldale teams for a quarter-century until his retirement in 1949. That left the door open for Andy Kalen to move up as head coach. Kalen produced a 48-27-7 record until resigning in the spring of 1956 to become backfield tutor at George Washington University.
The resignation of Kalen set off a chain-reaction for succeeding years. Robert (Bob) Wear replaced Kalen in 1956 and posted a record of five wins against three losses and two ties. He left at the conclusion of the 1956-57 term to move to Upper Moreland Township, near Hatboro.
Tom Leonard assumed the duties in 1957 and finished the same season, winning five of nine games. Roller, who was assistant to Leonard in 1957, became top man last fall when the injury jinx contributed to a mediocre three-and-seven slate.
The loss of Greg Posta, Coaldale’s triple-threat back, resulted in five straight losses during the second half of the season, including a 53-0 drubbing by Minersville for the worst setback in the school’s history, plus a 27-6 defeat by Lansford, the first against the traditional Thanksgiving Day rival since 1952.
Coaldale has been one of the most consistent schools in the Eastern Conference annually despite the fact the Tigers never have won Southern Division honors. Coaldale finished second to Minersville in 1949, and was runner-up to Ashland the year previous. The Tigers were third in the final Southern Division rankings in 1946, 1947, and 1950.
Coaldale’s overall record in 18 years of competition in the Eastern Conference stands at 99 victories against 62 losses and 14 ties.
The Coaldale school directors are not expected to name a successor to Roller until next month but there is a possibility that Geno Poli, a former Coaldale standout, may get the nod. Poli joined the staff last autumn as assistant to Roller.