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Longtime District 3 football power Cumberland Valley looking for new head coach

The (Carlisle) Sentinel (TNS)
  • Longtime District 3 football power Cumberland Valley looking for new head coach.
  • The seven-year tenure of Michael Whitehead has been ended.
  • Whitehead's teams at CV were 59-29 overall, but 8-13 over the last two season.

Cumberland Valley has opened the head coaching job for the football team.

The school district’s employment application website had a job opening posted for the position Friday evening. That ends the seven-year tenure of Michael Whitehead. Cumberland Valley School District communication specialist Tracy Panzer said in an emailed statement the administration is taking “the program in a different direction.”

“While it is the desire of administration to take the program in a different direction, we would like to thank Mr. Whitehead for his commitment to the team,” the statement said. “He remains a valuable member of our staff and of our school community.”

No reason was provided in the statement, which said the district “has made the decision to open the contract for the position of Head Football Coach at Cumberland Valley High School. Coaching positions are extra-curricular positions and are one-year contracts. As such, the contract may be opened at any time within the year.”

A call to Whitehead, who is also a high school math teacher at CV, was not immediately returned. When reached by email, athletic director Michael Craig directed The Sentinel to Panzer.

CV said the post will stay open through Nov. 22. CV will begin reviewing and interviewing candidates after that.

The job post said: “Cumberland Valley is seeking a qualified individual to fill the Varsity Head Football Coach position for this Pennsylvania 6A Football program. ... Prior high school and/or college coaching/teaching experience required with the ability to effectively organize and guide a coaching staff.”

Whitehead’s replacement will be just the fourth coach at CV since 1971.

Whitehead took over in 2013 for longtime head coach Tim Rimpfel, who was in charge of the program for 24 years and most of his 307 wins.

Whitehead lasted seven seasons, amassing a 59-29 record. The Eagles made the District 3 playoffs every year but 2018, when a bevy of graduation losses the year before forced the team to rebuild through a 3-7 campaign. The Eagles went 11-5 in districts under Whitehead, made the championship game three times and won once, in 2015 in a 62-61 seven-overtime classic against rival Central Dauphin.

But CV went just 8-13 the past two seasons. Whitehead’s crew made the playoffs this year at 5-5 and nearly upset Manheim Township in the Class 6-A opener Nov. 1 before losing 32-26.

Prior to taking over as head coach of the football team, Whitehead served 16 years as Rimpfel’s assistant. He was also the head baseball coach from 1998 to 2013, resigning after that to focus on football. He was replaced by Levi Mumma, who has led the baseball team since 2013 and served as Whitehead’s defensive coordinator in football as well.

Whitehead is a Cumberland Valley lifer. He grew up at CV, played under coach Harry Chapman before graduating in 1988 and then played at Washington and Jefferson College. Whitehead briefly took a job as an assistant under Four Chapman, Harry’s son, at Bishop McDevitt upon graduating from college, coming back to his alma mater for the 1995 season to work with Rimpfel.

The opening is the first in Cumberland County following the 2019 season.