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Ryan Luckman issued a statement Thursday evening, noting he has been removed as the head girls' soccer coach as well as head boys' basketball coach at York Catholic.

"I was told I needed to improve as a coach, and I did not meet the level set forth by the administration," Luckman said. "I was given a chance to improve, and I did not. That's why I don't have a (coaching) job."

Luckman remains a science teacher at the school.

York Catholic principal Katie Seufert noted Thursday morning: "This decision was made together ... for the program and the students."

"I disagree wholeheartedly that this decision was made together," Luckman said. "I disagree with my firing."

The move ended Luckman's 10 years as York Catholic's girls' soccer coach. It also marked the second straight year York Catholic fired its boys' basketball coach.

Joe Keesey confirmed in March 2014 he had been fired, saying he was told the school preferred a coach with more "charisma."

"I told her I have no charisma," Keesey said last year. "I'm a quiet person. I just coach basketball."

York Catholic senior Paul Martello, who will play basketball at Juniata College next season, learned of the latest coaching change from teammates in school.

"I was shocked, I think everyone was shocked," Martello said, "especially because the year before they fired Coach Keesey, and we had to learn under a new coach and a new system. I really feel bad for my teammates who will be back next season, because they will have to go through another coach and another system."

The last two coaches had different styles, Martello said.

Luckman "was an emotional coach, more of a yeller than a quiet coach. He would raise his voice. Other players knew Coach Keesey wasn't a yeller. He just spoke to you and got his point across.

"I don't think anyone is disappointed, they just don't know what to expect."

Like Keesey, Luckman had deep involvement with York Catholic. He graduated from the school and returned to the Irish basketball program as an assistant from 2003-08, before leaving the program to work as the head boys' basketball coach at Spring Grove for five seasons. He guided this season's York Catholic team to an 11-13 record.

He also oversaw the successful girls' soccer program for a decade. The Irish won the YAIAA Division III title each of the last two seasons, and they advanced to the state tournament in 2012.

Contact Jim Seip at 771-2025.

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