Leechburg hires Angela Franke as new athletic director

Friday, August 11, 2023 | 4:01 PM

Angela Franke said the past couple of days have been a whirlwind since the Leechburg School Board voted to officially hire her as athletic director Wednesday evening.

“I am really excited to have this great opportunity at Leechburg,” said Franke, who served the past two academic years as the athletic director at Woodland Hills. “I got the chance to go up there (Thursday) to complete all of my paperwork. I love the family-type feel and environment where everyone is working together. I am looking forward to seeing the individual athletes and teams play and represent the school. I am excited to help them grow and work to improve the overall athletic department.”

Franke understands the quick turnaround she has as the fall teams — football, soccer and girls volleyball — begin their seasons Monday with the opening of official preseason practices. Boys golf season already is underway.

“I reached out to all of the coaches and introduced myself and let them know that I am here if they need anything,” she said. “We definitely don’t want to miss anything with me starting off so late in the game.”

Franke takes over for Andre Carter, who stepped down in late May. Carter remains with Leechburg athletics as the varsity girls basketball coach.

She parted ways with Woodland Hills in June after the conclusion of the spring sports season as the school district, she said, consolidated and changed the athletic director position.

“My position was eliminated,” Franke said. “That was the direction they decided to go. We had come from Arizona (two years ago), and I wanted to stay here and keep working in athletics. At the end of the school year, it isn’t the most opportune time for AD positions. When I saw the opportunity at Leechburg, I threw my name in the hat. It felt like a really good fit, and it is.”

Franke said she hopes to sit down with all of the coaches starting this week to discuss a more detailed game plan for their respective seasons and the long-term view of the athletic program overall.

She developed a nearly 14-year resume in collegiate volleyball coaching at all levels up to and including Division I and also work in athletic administration before arriving to Pittsburgh and Woodland Hills from Arizona two summers ago. She had served as athletic director at Skyline Gila River High School, a 25-mile drive from Phoenix, before her time at Woodland Hills.

Franke was a standout volleyball player in college and completed her playing days at Division I Jackson State in Jackson, Miss.

She got her first taste in coaching collegiate volleyball at Alcorn State as a graduate assistant while earning a master’s degree from the university.

Franke later served two seasons (2012-13) as the head women’s volleyball coach at Division I Mississippi Valley State.

“I loved the coaching side of the game,” Franke said. “While doing that, I was wearing a number of administration hats. I as a compliance coordinator at Loyola New Orleans, an academic advisor and a hyper-instructor at Mississippi Valley, and an academic liaison at Phoenix College and University of the Southwest. I was kind of doing both before gradually transitioning to the administration side full time.”

Franke’s hiring at Leechburg brings to four the current number of female athletic directors at school districts in the Alle-Kiski Valley. She joins Amanda Noel at Springdale, Kim Johnson at Valley and Sally Ackerman at St. Joseph.

“We are excited to welcome Angela to Leechburg,” high school principal Doug Rodgers said Thursday. “Her experience in college athletics as well as high school athletics will be extremely valuable to our coaches and student-athletes.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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