The two biggest high schools in the area, Altoona and Hollidaysburg, moved quickly to fill their head girls basketball coaching vacancies, Altoona hiring Jill (Bartley) Helsel and Hollidaysburg naming Deanna Jubeck.
Both are former players at the high school and college level who were mentored by a number of successful coaches, including former Lady Lion legend Art Taneyhill.
Though it typically takes at least a couple of years to fairly judge a hiring, credit both schools for their decisions.
It's been more than 30 years since either program has been directed by a woman and though administrators at both schools denied gender played a role, Helsel and Jubeck will serve as role models for the players.
That's important, and it also sends a positive message that you don't have to be a man to coach girls basketball.
It's also good timing in that both schools return a number of accomplished underclassmen, which should allow Helsel and Jubeck to get their careers off to good starts.
Random thoughts ...
n Since I was particularly critical of Hollidaysburg coach Mick Pentoney at midseason for cannonballing himself into a discussion about Taran Buie, it's only fair to praise the job he did in leading the Tigers to the District 6 Class AAAA title followed by a victory over Erie Prep. Impressive recovery.
n The anonymous hacks who troll altoonamirror.com have taken some unfair shots at Dean Rossi. What they don't know is this: Rossi is on a very short list of the best athletic directors in Blair County scholastic history.
n Could Brady Gehret eventually become Blair County's first Olympian? His pursuit will be fun to watch.
n Hollidaysburg product John Boyer completed an amazing year at the University of Buffalo in which he led all of Division I in assist-turnover ratio (159-43), including just four turnovers in his last 10 games. He also led the Bulls in minutes - quite a success story for the former walk-on.
n The only thing more embarrassing than a program with Penn State's history even being in the WNIT is losing in the tournament, at home, to Hofstra. Wondering if the listed attendance of 1,321 included the scorer's table.
n Funny, but Ed DeChellis looks nothing like Leonardo DiCaprio.
n Even if he is in the hunt at The Masters, the guess is the cheers won't be nearly as loud as they once were for Tiger Woods.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.