Laurel Highlands grad Kolesar hired as football coach at alma mater

Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 7:23 PM

The Laurel Highlands School Board stayed in house in hiring the district’s second high school football coach in as many seasons.

Rich Kolesar, a 2006 Laurel Highlands graduate and a teacher in the district, was hired to replace Jake Just, who resigned after one season.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Kolesar, 30. “It’s been my long-term dream. When I first got into teaching, I knew I wanted to be the head football coach at my high school.”

Kolesar was a two-time NCCAA All-American defensive back at Geneva, where he graduated in 2010.

He spent time as an assistant football coach at Laurel Highlands (2010-13) and Albert Gallatin (2014, ‘16-17) and also was an assistant baseball coach at Laurel Highlands and Hopewell, where the Vikings won the WPIAL title in 2010.

“I’m excited to be here to try and get the program headed in the right direction,” Kolesar said.

“We need to increase participation. I think being in the school every day, building relationships, will go a long way.”

Kolesar said he plans to meet with possible assistant coaches this week and wants to begin the weight training and speed and agility programs Monday.

Laurel Highlands finished 3-7 last season with a 1-6 record in the Class 4A Big Eight Conference.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.


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