The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 11, 2013

High school football: Former PSU standout Yisrael to coach Shamokin

By The Daily Item
The Daily Item

COAL TOWNSHIP — Shamokin football fans will get to meet their new head coach on Monday when the school board meets to hire former Penn State defensive back an Halifax head coach Yaacov Yisrael.

Accordng to school board member Bob Getchey, who chairs the committee which interviwed the candidates to replace Dan Foor (who resigned after the season), Monday’s meeting, set for 7:30 p.m., will be for the sole purpose of hiring the new coach. After the meeting, the board will hold a “meet the coach” program and Yisrael will be available to meet players, parents and fans and answer questions.

Yisrael was the head coach at Halifax the past two seasons as the Wildcats went 4-6 both years. He has also been an assistant coach in the area, including Shikellamy. He is married to former Line Mountain and Penn State field hockey standout Jill Martz-Yisrael, the current Line Mountain field hockey head coach.

Despite the sub-.500 record at Halifax, several Valley coaches praised the teams for playing hard and not ever giving up.

The board apparently will choose Yisrael over former North Schuylkill coach Rick Geist and six other applicants. Shamokin defensive coordinator Mike Gurski was also one of the candidates, but recently withdrew his name from consideration.

Under Foor, the Indians won a District 4 Class AAA championship in 2011, despite going into the playoffs with a 4-6 record, and won a first-round PIAA playoff game. Foor’s teams were 16-30 in four seasons, with two district and the one state playoff appearance.