As one longtime coach said an official “good-bye” on Monday, another gained a new position.
The State College Area School District approved a pair of coaching positions at its monthly meeting, approving the hiring of Matt Lintal as head coach of the football team and accepting the resignation of Drew Frank as boys’ basketball coach.
Both programs are coming off poor performances from its most recent seasons — which were aberrations for two otherwise very successful teams.
The football team was 5-6 last fall, while the basketball team finished with a 4-21 record.
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Lintal takes over the program after spending the last three seasons as an offensive assistant coach and one as the ninth-grade coach under Al Wolski, who retired from coaching after last season and will retire from teaching in June. Wolski had an 87-42 record during his 10 seasons.
The Little Lions fell to Mifflin County in the District 6 Class AAAA first round.
Before joining the Little Lion staff, Lintal was an assistant coach for seven seasons at Bucknell, most recently as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. The son of former State College head coach Dave Lintal, who was Wolski’s predecessor, Matt Lintal is a 1999 State College graduate and was a four-year starter at safety at Franklin and Marshall, from which he graduated in 2003.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve our student-athletes in this capacity,” Matt Lintal said in a statement Monday night. “As an alum of State College Area High School, I accept this challenge with the utmost pride and enthusiasm. With the help of the administration and a great coaching staff beside me, I hope to continue the winning tradition of State College Football, while also helping to produce citizens of empathy and integrity. I am thankful to my wife, Jackie, and my entire family for supporting me in this endeavor. I am grateful to all the mentors I have worked with and learned from along the way, including my father, Dave Lintal, my college football coach (Tom Gilburg), and all the coaches I have worked with at both the college and high school ranks. Additionally, I have learned a great deal from Coach Wolski over the last four years and I am honored to follow him as the next head football coach for State College Area High School.”
Lintal will take over a program that will be replacing a number of starters but still has plenty of depth with a huge roster last season.
This past season was a surprise for the Little Lion basketball program, only picking up two wins during the regular season against Chambersburg. But the team turned its fortunes around in the District 6 playoffs, dropping Hollidaysburg in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs, then upsetting top-seeded Mifflin County — which won both regular-season meetings between the teams — in the semifinals. The run ended with a 44-31 loss to Altoona in the district championship game.
There were few other disappointing campaigns during Frank’s 17 seasons at the helm, including a number of players who went on to Division I programs, plenty of district titles and the PIAA championship in 2003.