Penn Cambria High School is searching for a new girls basketball coach.
The district recently began seeking outside applicants after veteran coach Bruce Frycklund stepped down following a playoff campaign and an in-house search yielded no candidates to guide a program that seems poised for more success.
"We didn't get anyone from inside. We didn't think we would. We're just beginning the process,'' Penn Cambria athletic director Ernie Fetzer said. "We're hoping to do something before May.''
Frycklund, best known for successful coaching stints with the Penn Cambria boys and Cambria Heights boys, just finished his fourth year at the reins of the Lady Panthers. This year's team was the first to post a winning record under his guidance, going 15-8.
It was the second time Frycklund had taken the Lady Panthers to the District 6 playoffs.
During an in-season interview, Frycklund seemed set on staying on. However, he resigned at the end of the year, presumably capping a 31-year career with 478 victories.
He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.
"There was no pressure to him from us by any means. I'm saddened by the fact that he stepped down,'' Fetzer said. "I think there was a point in the season he didn't have any intentions of stepping down. At the end of the year, for whatever reasons, he just said, 'I'm resigning.'
"We think the world of him. We think he's tremendous with what he does. It's a void for us, no question.''
Frycklund continues to teach in the district, and Fetzer - himself a former girls basketball coach at Westmont Hilltop - said Frycklund remains an assistant on his Panther football coaching staff.
Fetzer said Frycklund's assistant, Julie Gummo, was not interested in taking over. Fetzer added that he felt there were a couple of qualified coaches in the school and with whom he had spoken, but they would only consider assisting.
A potentially good team awaits whoever takes the job. Leading scorer Brianna Kearney is graduating, but the rest of the starting lineup is back.
"Someone with experience would be a good thing, and someone who is into working at it and continuing what Bruce did. I thought he did a nice job of turning it around,'' Fetzer said. "We have a nice nucleus coming back and some good kids coming up through the junior high system.''