Ebersole leaving Owls' sideline Westminster coach heads for Shippensburg U. as football assistant

January 25, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Westminster football coach Tim Ebersole is stepping down after two seasons to take a position as an assistant at his alma mater, Shippensburg (Pa.) University.

Ebersole, who also teaches business math at Westminster, went 7-13 in his two years as Owls coach, including a 5-5 season in 1994. He will be leaving Westminster on Feb. 1.

"Of the five programs I've been involved in, this is the toughest to leave," he said. "I really developed a close relationship with the kids and the coaching staff, and the administration has been so supportive to our program.

"So I'm leaving with some mixed emotions, but they understand when an opportunity comes along you can't shut the door on it because it may shut other doors in the future."

Westminster athletic director Steve Thomson said the process of finding a replacement will take some time and will be difficult.

"We're going to miss him," said Thomson. "We have a lot of respect for what he's done with the program. The win-loss record may not have shown it, but he always had the team prepared, working hard in practice and games with everything positive. He had the kids headed in the right direction."

Ebersole graduated from Shippensburg in 1983 after a standout career as a quarterback. He was a two-time honorable-mention All-America Division I-AA and Division II selection and set a number of school passing records.

Before going to Westminster, he spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Lebanon Valley College. Before that, he spent one year as an assistant coach at West York (Pa.) High School and two more at York High.

Ebersole is looking forward to returning to his alma mater and getting back into the college ranks. He will be in charge of quarterbacks and wide receivers under six-year coach Rocky Rees.

After coaching the I-formation for many years, Ebersole will be learning a new offense with Shippensburg -- the wing-T. He said he also is looking forward to getting back into the recruiting aspect of college ball, something he missed the last two years.

"My ultimate aspiration is becoming a head college football coach and this is a good start," he said. "This is a great opportunity to work with a great coach."

After replacing former coach Jeff Oeming to become the seventh football coach at Westminster, Ebersole came within a flicker of winning the Carroll County title in his first season. A South Carroll touchdown in the closing seconds of the final week of the season gave the Cavaliers a 27-21 win at Westminster.

Ebersole and the Owls went through a rebuilding season last fall, finishing 2-8, with one of the bright spots a win over South Carroll in what turned out to be Ebersole's last game at Westminster.

In its hiring of Ebersole in May of 1994, the Westminster administration considered 26 applications and granted nine interviews before making the selection five months later. Thomson sees the same kind of process taking place again, with a coach being named by spring at the earliest.

"This is something we won't jump right into," he said. "We'll be taking our time and [principal] Sherri-Le Bream also will be waiting to see what teaching positions may open."

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