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Josh Oswalt set to leave Central York, become head football coach at Cumberland Valley

  • Josh Oswalt is set to become the next head football coach at Cumberland Valley.
  • Oswalt has coached at Central York for the past four years, going 30-13.
  • Oswalt's 2019 Central team finished 9-2 and won the York-Adams Division I crown.
Josh Oswalt, Central York
Football Media Day, Thursday August 1, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Central York High School is in the market for a new head football coach.

The Panthers' current head coach, Josh Oswalt, will apparently become the next head coach of the Cumberland Valley Eagles. 

That information came out Friday morning through a news release issued from the Cumberland Valley School District.

The CV administration has recommended Oswalt's hiring to the school district's board of directors, who will take action on his hiring on Monday night.

It would be a major surprise if Oswalt was not approved for the CV job.

“We are excited to recommend Josh as our next head football coach. He has done a great job at Central York and we are looking forward to Josh’s enthusiasm and passion for football,” said CV athletic director Mike Craig in the news release.

"Josh places an emphasis on community involvement and we look forward to his continuation of that at Cumberland Valley.”

Return to his roots: For Oswalt, it's a return to his roots. He's a 2004 CV graduate who played under legendary CV head coach Tim Rimpfel.

“I am extremely excited to come back home," Oswalt said in the news release from CV. "It is an honor and a privilege to be named the next head football coach at Cumberland Valley High School. I have spent the last 10 years as a head football coach, using my experiences from my alma mater as the standard to mold my programs.”

“Coach Rimpfel held each of his players to a high standard and had an ability to develop every player in the program regardless of their skill-set. I too have those same expectations for my players. I believe that as the leader of the football program, it is my duty to utilize the football platform and use it for positivity. We will build relationships with other organizations and teams to give back to our community and school district. I cannot wait to get to work!”

CV a perennial power: CV is a traditional District 3 football power, with 13 championships, but its program has sagged a bit in recent years. Michael Whitehead was not retained as the CV head coach after the 2019 season, when the Eagles finished 5-6. CV was 3-7 in 2018. Overall, Whitehead had a 59-29 career record at CV.

After Whitehead’s removal, Oswalt became an obvious candidate to take over. He applied for the position seven years ago when Rimpfel resigned. A drawn-out hiring process eventually ended with Whitehead’s promotion from assistant to head coach.

Oswalt, meanwhile, is coming off a 9-2 season in 2019 with the Panthers, including a perfect 7-0 record en route to the York-Adams League Division I championship. Oswalt was the Y-A D-I Coach of the Year.

Central's only regular-season loss in 2019 came to Cumberland Valley, 13-12. Central and Cumberland Valley are scheduled to meet again on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.

Central's season, however, ended with a disappointing 47-13 loss to Harrisburg. After that loss, Oswalt lamented the lack of rugged competition in Y-A D-I. 

After Central routed in district playoffs, coach laments lack of 'tough' York-Adams foes

"This is going to piss a lot of people off, but our league is not tough,” Oswalt said after the Harrisburg loss. “Our league is not tough at all. It’s no disrespect, there’s good teams and we haven’t beaten those teams every year, but that’s what is happening.”

Central York loses on the road after Cumberland Valley completes late comeback

Will face tough competition: Now, Oswalt, 33, will be a head coach in one of the most competitive big-school divisions in all of Pennsylvania — the Mid-Penn Commonwealth.

The Harrisburg team that routed Central in the playoffs finished third in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth this season. The 2019 Mid-Penn Commonwealth champion, Central Dauphin, won the District 3 Class 6-A title and advanced all the way to the PIAA 6-A state title game before losing.

His stint at CV won't be Oswalt's first coaching experience in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth. He previously coached at Carlisle High for six years, going 18-44.

In four years as the Central head coach, Oswalt had a 30-13 record. 

Next year's Panthers' squad is again expected to be strong, led by the return of sophomore quarterback Beau Pribula, who has already received offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Central York Head Football Coach Josh Oswalt during football practice at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Central has already posted the head football coaching position on the employment page of the district's website.

Oswalt, when reached via text, said he would be available for further comment after Monday’s board meeting.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com,. The Carlisle Sentinel contributed to this report.