BLOG: Palmyra hires ex-Dallastown coach Manlove

Patrick Strohecker

Mary Manlove wasn't out of coaching girls' high school basketball for very long.

As first reported by Pat Huggins of the Lebanon Daily News, Manlove was unanimously approved to become the next Palmyra girls' head varsity basketball coach at Thursday's school board meeting. She was also approved as an elementary reading specialist within the Lebanon County district.

Mary Manlove, seen here coaching the Dallastown girls' basketball team, is up for approval to become the next head girls' coach at Palmyra on Thursday. Manlove was fired as the Wildcats' coach amid allegations of verbal, mental and physical abuse, but a later investigation cleared her of all accusations.

Manlove previously served as the Dallastown girls' basketball head varsity coach for seven years before being dismissed back in March amid allegations from some players and parents that she inflicted verbal, mental and physical abuse on her players. Manlove told The York Dispatch that she had received papers dated March 16 citing problems with her "coaching style."

An investigation was then launched by the school administration, as well as Children and Youth Services and York Regional Police. Manlove was not charged. Manlove also served as a third-grade teacher within the Dallastown School District, a job she retained after she was let go as coach. After she was fired as Dallastown's coach, a large number of former Wildcat players and parents of former Wildcat players came to Manlove's defense.

Manlove dismissed as Dallastown High girls' coach

In her seven seasons with the Wildcats, Manlove guided the team to a 114-77 record, including a 2013 York-Adams League title and a Y-A League Division I title in 2015. Her teams also won the league's Sportsmanship Award in 2011 and, ironically, last season.

Manlove takes over a Palmyra program that has been hugely successful over the years under longtime coach Ron Berman, who resigned after last season. The Cougars were 13-10 in Berman's final season, their 15th straight winning season. Berman's career record at Palmyra was 325-116, including capturing or sharing six Mid-Penn Keystone Division titles, an overall Mid-Penn crown and a District 3-AAA title. His Cougars made the state semifinals twice, once in Class AAA and once in Class AAAA.

Dallastown recently filled the vacant girls' varsity head basketball position with the hiring of former longtime boys' basketball coach, Jay Rexroth. In 17 years as head coach of the Wildcat boys' basketball program from 1993 through 2009, Rexroth saw much success, mostly at the league level. He guided the program to two York-Adams League titles, in 1995-96 and 2000-01, and compiled a career record of 233-172.

Rexroth had been serving as a high school assistant coach the past several seasons.

 Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com