A familiar face will take over the top spot in the William Penn boys' basketball program next season.

The school board for the School District for the City of York approved the hiring of Clovis Gallon to take control of the Bearcats program Monday. Gallon has been a longtime assistant coach with the program, working under former head coach Troy Sowers during his 10-year run at William Penn.

Gallon’s familiarity with the school is part of the reason why athletic director Ron Coursey chose him over other candidates.

“I just felt he was the best fit for our program moving forward,” Coursey said. “He’s somebody as an alum of York High he definitely bleeds orange and blue. He’s somebody who’s in touch with our community and in touch with our kids.

“The fact that he teaches in the building and has been the lead varsity assistant for the last 10 years, I just felt like he was the most logical choice as far as keeping the continuity going with our program.”

From the archives: Learn how Clovis Gallon and Troy Sowers converged at William Penn

Gallon went through a two-week interview process at William Penn and the Bearcats did have several qualified candidates to choose from, Coursey said.

The new William Penn athletic director was also won over by the vision Gallon has for the basketball program. The Bearcats have been one of the best teams in District 3 basketball in recent years, and Gallon is planning on building upon that. The Bearcats appeared in five District 3 championship games since 2009, winning three titles.

“He made a comment to me that he would love to get our program to the point where we’re not just a regional powerhouse. But one day we’re a national powerhouse,” Coursey said. “That’s something that really spoke volumes to me with the talent and tradition of York High. Just being able to elevate our program to the next level.”

Gallon has spent 15 years in the program with the last 10 coming as Sowers' lead assistant.

"I felt relief and a sense of fulfillment," Gallon said of his first reaction to being hired. "It's something I've aspired to do for some time. I had to wait, work hard and serve the program as best I could next to Troy (Sowers). When he stepped down, I was shocked. He said, 'It's all yours if you want.' The opportunity was set before me and I'm excited to get started."

Gallon spoke highly of Sowers and wants to continue the success they found as a duo.

"I learned so much from him," Gallon said. "I want to enhance what we built when he was here. We had a lot of success and the program has come a far way."

Gallon plans on meeting with his players early next week to set a foundation for the offseason. He wants them to focus on controlling what they can control, he said.

"Off the court, they can control being a good citizen and a good student, so they need to focus on that," Gallon said. "On the court, they can control playing hard, being a good teammate and improving their fundamentals. That's what people can expect from us."

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