It might be fitting Northeastern's new football coach is just 26 years old. The Bobcats will enter just their sixth year as a varsity program this fall when Jon Scepanski steps onto the sidelines.
Scepanski replaces Brendan Brown, who had been the school's only head football coach in its existence. Hired by Brown as an offensive coordinator last year, Scepanski said his dream was to become a head coach on the high school level.
He didn't have to wait long.
Scepanski, who was approved Monday night by the board of education, came to Northeastern after serving three seasons as an assistant at Conestoga Valley. There, he coached quarterbacks before becoming defensive coordinator in his third and final season. Having experience at both top assistant positions helped his cause, as did his youth, Northeastern athletic director Bryan Stephens said.
"He's a guy the kids respect, and you could see that with the way they played on the football field," said Stephens, who estimated he received at least 15 applications for the position.
The Bobcats are coming off a 7-4 season that included a second straight District 3 Class AAA playoff appearance. With most players from that team seniors, continuing the success could be a challenge for Scepanski.
He must replace last season's quarterback in Alec Miller, leading rusher in Daniel Adams and captain Zach Moyer, who contributed as a tight end and at multiple positions on defense, among others.
"We're a younger team," he said, "but the kids we've been having are about 38-40 in the weight room."
A former quarterback and outside linebacker at Solanco, where he graduated in 2005, Scepanski was an undergraduate assistant at West Chester before moving on to Conestoga Valley. He currently teaches physical education at Northeastern Middle School.
As for his plans with the program, Scepanski said he intends to change little offensively, but isn't sure yet what the Bobcats will do on the other side.
"We'll still be a two-back team, but there's going to be some variations I'm going to adapt with the kids we'll have compared to last year," he said.
Scepanski confirmed at least two coaches will return from last season. One change will be at defensive coordinator. Davis Chubb, who held the position, departed before Scepanski's promotion.