Since Ron Hoover’s last stint as Bald Eagle Area’s head football coach ended in 2001, he’s stayed close to the program.
Hoover spent time as a varsity assistant, coached the seventh-grade team and helped out the last four years in the Bald Eagle Area youth program. Hoover is the Eagles head coach again after being hired to replace Jack Tobias, who resigned from the job. Hoover was Bald Eagle Area’s defensive coordinator last season and decided to apply when the position opened.
“This is what I do,” Hoover said. “I just love coaching and I love coaching Bald Eagle Area football and I plan on doing it as long as I can.
“It's fun, it's exciting, like I said, we have great kids, so I applied for it and ended up getting it so it's time to move forward and go with it.”
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Hoover was the head coach at Bald Eagle Area for six seasons, going 21-39 in that time. The Eagles went 4-15 in his last two seasons. Bald Eagle Area finished .500 once under Hoover, in 1998, when the Eagles went 5-4 in the regular season and lost to Huntingdon in the district semifinals.
Hoover, a Bald Eagle Area alum, started coaching at the school as an assistant in 1983. He played football at Lycoming College, where he’s a member of the school’s Hall of Fame. He is also a throwing coach for the track team, and he’s in his 31st year as a teacher at Bald Eagle Middle School.
After his last head coaching tenure at Bald Eagle Area, Hoover was an assistant at Bellefonte before returning as an assistant for the Eagles.
Hoover said he learned last Friday he would be recommended to the school board for the job. He said the school interviewed seven coaches, and he knew it would be a tough choice.
“I was a little bit in shock but also very excited to hear that because you never know when you're in a position like that,” Hoover said. “It definitely made my day.”
The coach will meet with his players for the first time Friday morning.
He’s excited about the returning players and about meeting the younger players who will move up to the high-school level this season. He’ll also explain his plan for the program at the meeting.
“I just want to emphasize that everyone's important here and playing time's going to be earned, not given,” Hoover said. “So I want to make sure that everybody understands that they're gonna have to work.”
From there, Hoover said he’ll work to solidify the offseason strength program and plan plan summer workouts.
“We don’t have time to waste,” Hoover said.