Derry hopes to hire football coach within month

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 4:01 PM


When Derry hired Tim Sweeney as its football coach in 2013, athletic director Brett Miller considered it a home run.

Sweeney took a struggling program and made it a winner, which brought excitement back to Friday nights in eastern Westmoreland County.

But Miller knew with that success and Sweeney’s desire to move close to his Bethel Park home in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, the day would come that he would be searching for a new coach.

That day as come.

Sweeney, who was considered for a couple of vacancies last summer, was named Baldwin coach on April 8. He was 49-18 in six seasons at Derry.

Sweeney was hired after Derry’s 2013 team went 0-10 and lost by an average of 50 points per game.

“When we hired Tim, there were other candidates that had more experience,” Miller said. “But what the board liked was Tim’s passion for the game. That’s what we’re looking for in our next coach.”

That new coach, whoever it might be, has big shoes to fill.

Derry has reached the WPIAL Class 3A semifinals three of the past four seasons and the WPIAL finals last year.

Miller said the process has already begun to find Sweeney’s replacement. By rule with the teacher’s union, the job must be posted in the district for two weeks (until April 28).

After that date, Miller will post outside the district.

Only one coach on the Derry staff is a teacher within the district. Miller said there could be others in the union interested.

“I have had some inquiries about the job,” Miller said. “We hope to have a coach in place by late May or early June. We got it right the last time, that’s for sure.”

Sweeney’s style fit Derry’s personnel. The Trojans were good at running the football and stopping the run.

Derry produced numerous quality running backs over the past six seasons — Justin Huss, Justin Flack, Onreey Stewart, Colton Nemcheck and Tyler Balega — and numerous players have gone on to play in college.

Among them are Dom DeLuca (Mercyhurst), Balega (Seton Hill, IUP), Flack (Waynesburg), Max Malis (Mercyhurst) and Gavin Adams (Miami).

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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