York-Adams program decides to open up its head football coaching position

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
Josh Campbell

Eastern York High School is looking for a new head varsity football coach.

Don Knaub, the Eastern York athletic director, issued a news release Monday morning saying that the school was accepting applications for the position.

Knaub later confirmed that the job was opened up, and that Josh Campbell had not resigned.

“This was not an easy decision,” Knaub said. “Coach Campbell is a great person and I have the utmost respect for him. But at the end of the day, we felt like we needed a new face to jump-start our program.”

The decision was made after the Golden Knights completed a 2-8 season this past fall. It was Campbell’s fourth year in the job. During that time, they never won more than three games. Campbell finished his stint at Eastern with a 9-27 record.

Campbell, 36, said he is uncertain about his own football coaching future.

“I have mixed emotions,” Campbell said about Eastern’s decision not to rehire him. “It’s one of the toughest things I’ve gone through. I fully intended to come back and finish the culture change that we started. I think there’s a bright future there.”

Campbell entered this past season hoping to “break the scoreboard,” and at times, the Golden Knights did produce some solid offensive numbers, posting 21 or more points in six games.

The passing combination of junior quarterback Austin Billet and senior wideout Bryce Currier was particularly effective. Billet finished the season with 1,796 yards passing and 17 touchdowns. He completed 60% of his passes and had 13 interceptions. Currier led the York-Adams League in receiving yards (986). He had 68 catches and averaged 14.5 yards per catch.

The Knights, however, struggled to stop their opponents, who posted 31 or more points in eight games. For the season, Eastern allowed 36.2 points per game, while scoring 19.5 points per game.

Eastern did win two of its final four games in 2021.

Campbell doesn’t believe the program’s win-loss record accurately portrays the progress that was made within the program.

“Obviously, we would have liked to win more games, but we did a lot of great things off the field,” he said. “We gave some individual kids the opportunity to play beyond high school.”

When asked how his players reacted to the news, Campbell said: “It’s a little shocking, a little stunning. The uncertainty is the most disturbing thing for them.”

Despite the unexpected end to his Eastern coaching tenure, Campbell says he will continue to be one of the program’s strongest supporters. He’s an Eastern graduate and is a cooperative education supervisor in the school district.

“I will always bleed blue and gold,” he said. “I told our players I will you support you and will always love you. ... I appreciate all the community support from the parents and players and wish them well.”

Eastern has not had a winning season since 2014, when the Golden Knights went 7-4 and made the District 3 playoffs.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com or @ydsports. Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.