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William Penn AD approved for Woodland Hills job

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William Penn’s athletic department once again needs a new leader.

Earlier this month, athletic director Ron Coursey was approved for the same position at Woodland Hills High School, in suburban Pittsburgh's Allegheny County.

Coursey, a Baltimore native who graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, will leave York after being approved as the Bearcats athletic director in January 2016. His stint included ambitious plans and trying circumstances.

"I was not looking for another job but I was recommended for this position and sought after," Coursey said when reached Monday evening.

"The decision was very difficult, even at this moment it's very bittersweet."

Coursey will remain with William Penn through the school year.

Woodland Hills School District's school board voted to hire Coursey at its April 19 meeting. His salary was listed at $95,000, and his hiring is effective July 1.

During Coursey's tenure, he welcomed new head coaches in the two premiere sports programs at the school: Clovis Gallon took over after Troy Sowers’ successful run in boys’ basketball, and Russ Stoner entered to rebuild the football program. Coursey also outlined a plan to reinstate nine sports programs, including adding a competitive cheer team in 2016-17.

During a difficult fall, York City School District Supt. Eric Holmes made the executive decision to move the remaining Bearcats home football games to Saturday afternoons. The move was proposed after a shooting outside Small Field during the fourth quarter of William Penn’s home opener Sept. 9.

William Penn also honored junior varsity football player Eugene Hillian, who was shot and killed in late October.

Coursey replaced athletic director Joe Chiodi, who spent 47 years working at the school. William Penn opened the position of athletic director during the school year last season, and Chiodi resigned in January after learning he would not be rehired for a department he either led or assisted for more than two decades.

Coursey leaves a little more than a year after being approved for the job.

The Woodland Hills position offers its own challenges. Coursey takes over for retiring athletic director/football coach George Novak.

At the same meeting where Coursey was approved by a 7-2 vote, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, more than a dozen residents asked the school board to reconsider its 5-4 vote to approve Matt Murray as head football coach.