Owls get their man in Ebersole

May 13, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

The search for a new head football coach began at the start of the year.

And now, more than five months, 26 applicants and nine interviews later, the Westminster High administration is confident and excited with its selection of Tim Ebersole.

The Carroll County Board of Education approved the selection Wednesday and the school formally announced its choice with a press conference yesterday afternoon.

Ebersole, 33, who was not at the press conference, was equally excited.

"It's been a goal for me to be a head football coach for some time and this is a great opportunity," he said.

"There were a couple of schools I was looking at and this was the best situation for me professionally and also for my family."

Ebersole, who lives in Palmyra, Pa., with his wife, Janet, and their two children, is a 1983 Shippensburg (Pa.) University grad who's spent the past eight years as an assistant coach at Lebanon Valley College. He replaces Jeff Oeming and becomes the seventh football coach in Westminster history.

"From my standpoint, the guy came in very organized and showed me he had dedication at every program he was at," said Westminster athletic director Steve Thomson. "He showed me work comes before success. I see him running a first-class program."

Thomson was joined by principal Sherri-Le Bream, vice principal John Seaman and Carroll County Supervisor of Physical Education Bruce Cowan in making the selection. Thomson, Bream and Cowan -- who all attended yesterday's press conference -- agreed it was a difficult choice, but also a unanimous one.

"We had some other strong candidates. We were very open and let them come in and sell their program," Thomson said.

Added Bream, "We're very excited about it and think he'll bring a lot to our athletic department."

"We're convinced we have a lot of talent that hasn't come out for football. He showed a lot of charisma and the students and parents should take to him easily."

Ebersole was a standout quarterback at Shippensburg, where he was a two-time honorable-mention All-America Division I-AA and Division II selection. He spent one year as an assistant coach at West York, Pa., High School and two more at York High before joining the Lebanon Valley staff.

He ran the offense the past three years at Lebanon Valley and also was the head baseball coach the past four seasons.

"I'm going to stress the same thing at Westminster as we did at Lebanon Valley and that's to be fundamentally sound in all phases -- offense, defense and the kicking game," Ebersole said.

"I got a good taste of [being a head coach] with the baseball program and understand the leadership involved and really look forward to the challenge. The main goal for our team will to get better each day and we'll go from there."

Oeming spent six seasons as head coach, compiling a 24-36 career mark. He was the first Westminster football coach to finish with a losing record.

The Owls won the county title last season with a 4-6 mark and their last winning season came in 1990, when they were 7-3.

"Winning is important, but I wouldn't say winning at any cost," Thomson said. "It sets a tone in the school atmosphere, particularly in the fall.

Added Bream: "[Football] sets the tone for our athletic programThere's a lot of community interest in the football program because of the tradition. We still get parents whose kids have long graduated that still come to the games every Friday simply because that's the thing to do on Friday nights."

Ebersole, who will visit with school administrators on Monday and then meet with team members on Tuesday, already appears to have a good understanding of the Westminster football tradition.

"I know there are a lot of people in the community who are very supportive and the administration also is very supportive. We're going to work hard to do things right and professionally to get back on the right track," he said.

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