Whenever a program enjoys a period of sustained success, as the York Catholic girls’ basketball team has, it usually sees a few coaches leave to advance their careers.

That sentiment holds true with Michael Englar. The longtime Irish assistant was recently named the new head coach of the New Oxford girls' varsity basketball team.

Englar has been a coach for more than 25 years and has served as a varsity assistant coach at York Catholic since 2004.

He replaces James Kunkle at New Oxford. Kunkle recently left the Colonials' program to become the new girls' head coach at West York.

New Oxford is coming off a season that saw it reach the York-Adams League title game and earn a spot in the PIAA Class 5A state playoffs. The Colonials finished 22-9.

“I want to build on what coach Kunkle did,” Englar said. “He did a great job the past couple of years (compiling a 37-18 overall record) … Hopefully I can maintain and improve on what they’ve done over the past couple of years.”

Doing so this season will be quite the task. The Colonials lost six seniors to graduation— including four of five starters.

“I’m up for the challenge,” Englar said. “If I can get the girls to buy into my scheme, we should be competitive. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting the girls to respond to what you want to do.”

During his time with the Irish, Englar compiled a 220-31 record as the junior varsity head coach.

Irish a storied program: The York Catholic girls' basketball program is arguably the most successful program in York County high school basketball history. The Irish have won 11 District 3 championships in the past 12 years. That run included a District 3 Class 3-A title last season.

The Irish also own four PIAA state titles, including three straight from 2006 through 2008. The 2016-17 Lady Irish finished at 24-7 and advanced to the PIAA Class 3-A state semifinals.

Coaching influences: Englar cites his relationships with current Irish coach Kevin Bankos and former Irish coach Andy Bria among those which influenced him the most as a coach. He also says former Red Lion girls’ coach Don Dimoff, as well as Englar’s coach during his own days at Red Lion, Henry Stoner, were key to his development.

“Big influences. The scouting, the game prep, how to prepare for a state-level game,” Englar said. “All the championships that we’ve been involved with, it’s all great experience. I’ve coached under some great coaches in York County and took whatever I could from each one of them and tried to build my own style.”

Up-tempo style: This will be the first head-coaching gig for Englar at the high school varsity level. He says he plans to bring an up-tempo style that should be exciting for both players and fans alike.

“They don’t want to sit there and run a half-court offense all the time. They want to get up and down the court and have some fun,” he said.

Reach Elijah Armold at earmold@yorkdispatch.com.


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