Central High School boys basketball has been one of the most stable programs in Blair County with just two head coaches in the last 29 years.
The Scarlet Dragons will now be undergoing just their second coaching change since 1983 after Bill Forshey's resignation was accepted by the Spring Cove School Board on Monday night.
Forshey compiled a 121-101 record in his nine years at the helm, but he said he turned in his letter of resignation last week due to increasing health concerns.
Forshey said he was diagnosed with Lyme disease in February, and he and his doctors are not sure when he'll regain his full health.
"I've had a pretty rough time with it,'' Forshey said. "I can't get around too well. I thought it would be best for the program to have somebody else run it. I don't know when I'll be OK.''
Forshey said he was bitten by a spider in 2004 and has had varying periods of sickness the last eight years. He said something triggered the illness this past November, and he was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease.
"Eventually, I will be back to 100 percent,'' he said. "They just don't know when that will be. It could be two months or two years.''
Forshey, 45, is a physical education and health teacher at Central, the school from which he graduated in 1985. He played basketball for Reggie Nevins, who coached Central from 1983-2003, and was an assistant for him for 11 years before getting the promotion to head coach.
Forshey's assistant, Paul Frederick, has been running the team in the summer during Forshey's absence.
Central athletic director Chuck Gojmerac said Frederick, as well as Nevins, might be interested in the opening, but he hasn't received any official interest from any candidates due to Forshey's resignation not going public until Monday night.
Nevins' resignation as junior high head boys basketball coach was also accepted by the board Monday. Frederick and Nevins both are teachers at the district's middle school.
Gojmerac said he'll advertise the opening both internally and externally for a two-week period and will accept applications until possibly Aug. 3. He said he is hoping to have a candidate in place for the Aug. 13 school board meeting but is only using that date as a goal.
"We would entertain candidates both internally and externally,'' Gojmerac said. "I expect we'll get a good pool. We want to find the best candidate.''
Central went 13-10 last season and lost to Ligonier Valley in the first round of the District 6 Class AA playoffs. The Dragons haven't won a district title since 1995.
"We have one returning starter [Austin Cunningham],'' Forshey said. "We have some athletic kids coming back, but maybe not quite the size we've had in the past.''
One returning player will be Forshey's youngest son, Trevor, who will be a junior. Forshey and his wife, Tricia, have three sons, and the older two, Derek and Trent, also played for their father.
"It was one of those things that you'd like to be around a couple more years,'' Forshey said. "I'll remember the relationships with the players, the officials, the other coaches. It's the friendships you make.
"I never looked at when I'd be done. I figured I'd stop when I didn't enjoy it anymore, and I was still enjoying it. But under these circumstances, I thought it was the best decision for the program.''
The Spring Cove School Board also accepted the resignations of varsity assistant girls basketball coach Rodger Fair, junior high assistant football coach Jesse Hileman, junior high assistant boys basketball coach Randy Lafferty and junior high head track coach Jennifer McConnell.
In addition, the board hired Ray Brooks as the new Central head varsity cross country coach at a salary of $1,682.87, Jeremy Harkins as the junior high head boys soccer coach at $1,770.70 and Mike Horton as a varsity assistant girls basketball coach at $2,248.51.