It looks like the Altoona Area School District has its varsity football coach, and it looks like that man is former Mountain Lion coach John Franco.
The Altoona Area School Board will be given a recommendation to hire Franco as its new football coach at a special meeting on Monday, multiple sources who did not want their identities disclosed told the Mirror on Wednesday.
A message left for a comment at Franco's home was not immediately returned. Altoona athletic director Phil Riccio would not confirm that Franco was the choice of a special search committee made to find a football coach.
"The football coaching opening is one of the items that will be discussed, along with several other items,'' Riccio said.
Asked directly if the job was going to Franco, Riccio only said, "John is a candidate.''
A teacher in the Altoona Area School District, Franco previously coached that school's football team from 1986-93, posting a record of 40-45-2 with the Mountain Lions.
Franco has spent the last 18 years turning Tyrone Area High School into a state Class AA powerhouse, amassing nearly 200 wins. In December, he took the Golden Eagles to the PIAA finals for the third time - they are the only program in District 6 to play for a state title more than once. Franco's 1999 team won District 6's only PIAA championship.
On Monday, Franco told his Tyrone underclassman players that it was unlikely he would be returning to coach them this season.
Tom Palfey currently is Altoona's coach and is under contract until June. The school board, though, voted to open the position after Palfey's teams had three straight sub-.500 records.