Another championship Franklin Regional coach, volleyball’s Mike Feorene, steps down

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Friday, January 15, 2021 | 7:15 PM


Another day, another high-profile Franklin Regional coach heading out the door.

It’s been some week for the district, which saw another successful coach resign — the third since Monday.

Mike Feorene is stepping down as girls volleyball coach after eight seasons.

He follows longtime football coach Greg Botta and boys soccer coach Rand Hudson. The trio have led Panthers teams for a combined 42 years. Botta, who has 40 years of coaching experience, wrapped up his 27th season at Franklin Regional in the fall.

Feorene called Botta a legend.

“It’s nice to always establish rapport with the team every year, and I know there are kids I am going to miss,” Feorene said. “But I’m tired after a wearing season with the coronavirus and everything. Usually you go into an offseason and get perked back up and excited, but I knew the time was now. It’s a lot (of time) if you want to play at a high level. The commitment has to be there all year long.”

Feorene, 51, is going out on top. He guided the Panthers to their first WPIAL championship and a PIAA runner-up finish in Class 3A. Both were first-time appearances for the team, which finished 21-3.

And the team will bring back a talented group.

“It was kind of a grand finale of endings,” he said. “A perfect ending, really.”

But there was more to Feorene’s decision.

His daughters, key players for the Panthers in senior all-section twins Alexa and Ashley, soon will head off to college, and their father wants to follow along if they decide to continue their volleyball careers.

They have offers from a number of programs.

“I want to be able to see them play if they choose that route,” he said. “And my wife has been a coach’s wife. I look forward to being with Michelle again.”

Feorene had a record of 107-35 at Franklin Regional. Adding his marks of 87-49 with the Norwin boys and 56-23 with the Norwin girls, he finished 250-107.

He started the Norwin boys program as a Knights alum, guiding the Knights to the playoffs in year No. 4. When he took over Franklin Regional, the team had lost 36 straight matches over three straight winless seasons.

Franklin Regional athletic director Zach Kessler was not blindsided by the back-to-back-to-back resignations, and he understood each decision. He said the coaches had hinted in the past about retiring.

“It’s just all a coincidence,” Kessler said. “It’s tough to see them go. These men meant a lot to our district. Is it ideal to have to replace three championship coaches at the same time? Obviously not. But I feel with the programs these men have helped to build, we will continue to have success and attract quality coaching candidates. We as a district will certainly do our best to provide the best coach possible because we owe that to our student-athletes and their families.”

Kessler said coaches already have inquired about applying for the openings.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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