Franklin Regional faces difficult task in replacing Greg Botta, 2 other coaches

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Sunday, January 17, 2021 | 3:46 PM


Greg Botta won 177 games in 27 seasons at Franklin Regional. He ranks third all time in Westmoreland County in football wins behind legendary coaches Dick Dilts of Kiski Area (214) and Joe Mucci (184), who led teams at Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic.

The decades-long coach at Franklin Regional called it a career last week, announcing his retirement after leading the Panthers to 16 playoff appearances in the last 17 years.

Now comes the hard part for Franklin Regional: finding his replacement.

“It’s a board decision, but I hope they stay inside (the program),” Botta said. “Our assistants, Mike Pipak and Lance Getsy, have experience. I’m sure they’ll apply.”

Pipak and Getsy were head coaches in the WPIAL in the past, Pipak at Northgate, Getsy at Charleroi.

Getsy is a teacher at Franklin Regional. His brother, Luke, a former Steel Valley and Akron quarterback, is the quarterbacks coach of the Green Bay Packers.

Botta is leaving to spend more time with family out of state. When news broke of his departure Tuesday evening, his phone “blew up” with messages and calls. Botta shut off the device overnight and woke up to dozens of messages, including one from Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi wishing him well.

Narduzzi agreed with Botta’s comments about how coaching, when done right, is a great sacrifice of time and personal life.

“I was touched,” Botta said.

Botta, who beamed about the relationships he has formed over the years with players and coaches, used an old-school approach and did things his way while earning the respect of his colleagues.

“I’ll miss it,” Botta said. “When I was on the football field for two-and-a-half hours Friday nights, all of life’s problems go away.”

Franklin Regional also had to part ways last week with another successful coach. Rand Hudson resigned after 11 seasons over two stints as boys soccer coach. He had 144 wins and two WPIAL titles coaching the Panthers.

And Mike Feorene made it a trifecta — three resignations in less than five days — when he stepped down Thursday as girls volleyball coach after seven seasons. The Panthers won their first WPIAL championship this season.

All three jobs are attractive, and the district will likely get a plethora of applicants for each.

“I knew going into this fall season that there was a distinct possibility that all three of them may be leaving at the end of the season,” Franklin Regional athletic director Zach Kessler said.

“They all were very up front with me prior to their seasons that this was likely their last. I don’t fault any of them for stepping away. Their decisions were largely based upon spending more time with their own families and there is no better reason than that. They are tremendous individuals and men of high character. They embody everything we look for in a coach. They did things the right way.”

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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