Hempfield hires Norwin athletic director Brandon Rapp

Monday, June 15, 2020 | 8:59 PM

Brandon Rapp spent the past seven years running the Norwin athletic program.

Rival Hempfield hired him away Monday to be its new athletic director to replace Greg Meisner, who resigned April 3 after he spent 15 years leading the Spartans.

“There is a lot of appeal at Hempfield,” Rapp said. “It gives me the opportunity to focus on athletics, and I’m excited to be part of their programs and having the opportunity and work with the coaches. Hopefully I can help them advance and build on the success they’ve already achieved.”

Rapp, a native Knox and a graduate of Keystone High School (2004), is a graduate of Slippery Rock University. He is 34.

Prior to coming to Norwin (2013-20), he coached football at Redbank Valley in New Bethlehem (District 9) for two seasons (2008-09) and was athletic director at Derry Area for three years (2010-13).

Rapp was one of 66 applicants for the position that became opened when Meisner resigned. The hiring committee, led by superintendent Tammy Wolicki, pared the group down to 11 and then down to four — Rapp, another athletic director from Westmoreland County, an athletic director from a school near Johnstown and an athletic director from a catholic school in Arizona.

“We are excited to have Brandon Rapp join the Spartan team,” Wolicki said. “His experience will support a smooth transition to Hempfield Area.”

The board voted 8-1 to hire Rapp. Diane Ciabattoni voted no, saying, “I think we have a good candidate, I have no objection to that. I do have an objection to some of the terms.”

Rapp was hired on a contract at least three years in length worth between $90,000 and $105,000 annually.

Rapp also handled extracurricular bus transportation for Norwin and was assistant school safety and security coordinator. He will just handle the athletic programs at Hempfield.

“One of the first steps I have to do is meet the coaches,” Rapp said. “There has been a lot of success at Hempfield. I hope my experience and things I’ve been able to do coincide with their success. I hope to learn from them.

“I really want to jump in with both feet and hear from those folks and see what works well. I want to help them build on those successes and continue to build on the programs moving forward.”

Rapp helped get the WPIAL to hold football and wrestling championships at Norwin. He said Hempfield has outstanding facilities as well and he wouldn’t mind seeing their facilities utilized more.

Rapp serves on the WPIAL’s boys and girls volleyball steering committees.

“It’s certainly sad to leave a lot of great relationships at Norwin,” Rapp said. “I’m also excited to build relationships at Hempfield.”

Rapp is married to Sheena (Shirey) and has two children — son Logan (8) and daughter Alivia (6).

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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