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Glendale seeking new coach after Yeckley steps down

July 26, 2012
By Amanda Ottaway ( , The Altoona Mirror

The Glendale Vikings are in the market for a new boys' basketball coach - for the second time in two years.

The Glendale school board accepted the resignation of first-year coach Mark Yeckley at its May 15 meeting, effective immediately.

Yeckley cited "personal reasons" in leaving his post, not quite a year after he was voted in on June 22, 2011 in a 5-1-1 decision. Yeckley's father Mark Yeckley Sr., a school board member, abstained from that vote. Yeckley Sr. moved out of the district in August 2011, vacating his position on the board.

The younger Yeckley could not be reached for comment, and Glendale High School athletic director John Matchock and Yeckley's assistant, Ryan Pastva, both declined to comment in detail on specific issues that may have led to Yeckley's resignation. Yeckley just finished his first year teaching earth science at Glendale High School and is engaged to be married in August, Matchock said, and the strain of balancing a family with a new teaching job and a varsity coaching position could have played into Yeckley's decision.

"It's a few things," Pastva said. "I can't really blame Yeckley for anything. I won't speak negatively of him. I don't think he's unjust in any of his reasoning."

Pastva said the team was caught off guard by Yeckley's announcement.

"They didn't see it coming," he said.

Glendale had a successful 2011-2012 season, finishing 15-10 overall and 13-5 in the Inter-County Conference North Division.

"I think Mark did an excellent job with the kids," Matchock said.

The school board advertised the position to the public in June but got no applicants. A second advertisement this month landed one applicant; Matchock said the school would wait until August to either finalize the position or decide to advertise again.

Pastva, a second-year math teacher at the high school and Yeckley's lone assistant, took over the program after Yeckley's departure and has been coaching the team through the summer. He did not say whether he had applied for the head coaching position.

"If it came to it, I would probably take the position," he said. "I don't see it being right for them to have nobody."

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