Knoch football coach Frank Whalen steps down
Frank Whalen knew the 2018 season would be his last as Knoch’s football coach, and he made it official this week.
Whalen resigned this week after two seasons at Knoch, stepping down for work-related reasons. He works for a pharmaceutical company by marketing products at hospitals, and his territory grew over the summer from just Western Pennsylvania to the entire state.
“I knew it was going to just be brutal,” Whalen said. “This year I’d have to go to practice, and as soon as I got done with practice, I’d get in the car and have to drive to Philadelphia, and I’d have to do that on a weekly basis. Sometimes I’d have to do it twice a week, so it was just too much.”
Whalen said he considered not coaching this fall, but he decided to remain after Knoch lost three key players to season-ending injuries during the offseason, opting not to make the Knights go through more change.
Knoch finished 5-5 this season, winning five of its last seven games after an 0-3 start and missing out on the playoffs due to a tiebreaker in its Class 4A Northwest Eight Conference. Senior Matt Goodlin rushed for 1,443 yards in the Knights’ triple-option attack, breaking the school’s regular-season record of 1,431 set by Tim McNerney in 2007.
The Knights went 8-9 in two seasons under Whalen.
“If you look at our record the past couple of years, we’ve actually done extremely well compared to where Knoch has been,” Whalen said. “It’s been a dry spell really since 2012 at Knoch. Last year we hit .500 in conference play, and this year we were .500 overall. That’s the best record Knoch has had since 2012.”
Before taking the Knoch job before the 2017 season, Whalen was offensive line coach at Geneva College for two years; was a Knoch assistant from 2008-14, including five seasons as defensive coordinator; and had coaching stops at Hempfield, Valley, Stafford (Va.), King George (Va.) and Shippensburg University. The Valley graduate was an all-conference defensive lineman at Geneva.