Thursday, December 08, 2011

Veteran North Star coach Loya resigns

Picked up from the Daily American - Somerset PA

BOSWELL — Veteran basketball coach Jack Loya has known nothing but success in his tenured career as a high school and college coach.

Loya decided to walk away from another season as the North Star Cougars head boys basketball coach Monday after 99 victories and five consecutive District 5 Class AA championship appearances.

He turned in his resignation at Monday's school board meeting and board members approved it.

"He did not give a reason why," North Star Superintendent Shawn Kovac said Tuesday evening. "That came as a surprise."

Loya said Wednesday he has some responsibilities and personal matters he needs to take care of but isn't giving up on the idea of coaching again at some point.

"I made a lot of friends and enjoyed working with the kids," he said. "I sure hate to leave, but I have no regrets."

First-year assistant Matt Fox was hired as head coach by board members.

Loya agreed to stay on and help with the transition.

"I think Matt will do well," Loya said. "He is able to see when something isn't working and fix it. We didn't do well in our first scrimmage and he analyzed it and got the guys on track. He has a good group of kids."

The two-time Somerset County Coach of the Year led his team to three WestPAC titles and three District 5 championships. His final career record at North Star was 99-34, including 22-5 last year.

He had three players reach the 1,000-point milestone at North Star as well — Luke Zellem, Alijah Petrilla and Jacob Fleegle.

"My forte is working with the big men," Loya said. "I can get them working well in the post. Jake was my best guard. He put more time in than lots of people I coached."

Loya took over at North Star after leaving an assistant coaching position at Seton Hill University where he helped lead the Griffins to three NAIA regional playoff seasons.

Loya also held coaching positions at Cambria County Area Community College, UPJ, Mount Aloysius College, Barrackville High School in West Virginia, Frederick Community College in Maryland and Delmar High School in Delaware.

He was named JUCO Conference Coach of the Year after going undefeated a year after taking over a Frederick team that had not won a game the previous season.

The Clarion University and West Virginia University alumnus also ran the Summer Basketball Camp of Aggression for elementary and high school students for 20 years.

He has also coached volleyball, baseball, tennis, swimming and officiated basketball and football

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