Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Gray resigns as Avella football coach
It might be hard to believe but Avella football was once a WPIAL small-school powerhouse. The Eagles tradition pre-1980 ranked right up there with any from the area. There were multiple WPIAL championships, several other championship game appearances, NFL players and Division I talent.
Things changed drastically.
If Avella isn't the graveyard of WPIAL football these days, it's awfully close. Avella's football plight is well-documented in recent years as the Observer-Reporter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and even the New York Times did multiple stories on the Eagles.
A couple years ago, it seemed the only logical solution was to drop football. Frank Gray changed that opinion.
Gray worked hard to restore numbers and some sense of competitiveness to Avella football, and Gray also did his best to keep the Eagles in the news. He pushed for players to earn all-district, and even all-state mention.
In three years, Gray went 3-24 but he and Avella earned the respect of playoff regulars like Clairton and Fort Cherry along the way.
Gray recently resigned from his position as Avella's football coach, stating that certain people in the community who were close to the football program were making the situation too difficult to handle. For a coach who once dressed a female cheerleader to put 11 player on the field in hopes of not forfeiting a season and the likely end of Avella football, those people must have been awfully overbearing.
For more on Gray's resignation, read today's story in the O-R by clicking http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/03-05-2011-Gray-resigns-at-Avella.
Gray's resignation leaves Avella as the lone local school without a football coach heading toward the spring. The story states Avella hopes to fill the vacancy next month. That leads to this question, who wants the job?