Jeff Appleman is returning to his roots.
Appleman, a longtime, well-known high school girls basketball coach in Blair County with stints at Williamsburg and Hollidaysburg, was hired Wednesday night by the Claysburg-Kimmel school board to be the Lady Bulldogs' head coach for the 2012-13 season.
"The principal [Mark Mitchell] called and told me I was approved at the meeting," Appleman said Thursday from his Hollidaysburg home. "I don't know the results of the vote. I know that my name was presented at the meeting and it was approved."
Appleman replaces Jill Brumbaugh, who is out after two seasons while going 26-20, including 11-12 in her first year and 15-8 in her second year. The school board voted in April to open the position.
Appleman was chosen by an 8-1 vote, school board member Denny Cowher said. The lone "no" vote came from school board president John Burket.
"I was in on the interview with Jeff. ... I have known Jeff for a long time and his integrity and his intensity ... that just showed through in the interview," Cowher said. "His credentials speak for themselves. He will be a tremendous asset to our school, to our program and to our girls basketball team."
In his 26 years as a high school head coach, he was 498-167, 379-86 in 18 years at Wiliamsburg where he won a state title in 1997. He finished second there in 1995. At Hollidaysburg, he went 119-81 in eight years. He's been retired from coaching the past four years and retired from teaching two years ago.
"It is something my wife [Lois] and I kicked around the last six months, about getting back into coaching and at what level," he said. "My career in coaching actually began in Claysburg 30 years ago with a youth program, so I am familiar with people in the area."
Appleman, whose wife was hired as his assistant, met with his new team on Thursday.
"The kids are very enthusiastic and hard-working. This looks to be a good match," he said.
He was very grateful to the school board for their decision.
"I want to thank them for having the confidence in me and for giving me a chance to get back into coaching," Appleman said.
He will also be coaching against his brother, Don, who coaches at Williamsburg in the Inter-County Conference.
"He called and congratulated me and even told me he would give me a scouting report on the league," Jeff said.