The Bellwood-Antis School Board accepted the resignation of head boys basketball coach Kevin Conlon Tuesday after Conlon received a promotion at his job with Drayer Physical Therapy and could no longer dedicate the time needed to lead the Blue Devils.
“It’s simple, I got a promotion at work, and it was going to take a significant portion of my time, requiring me to be traveling,” Conlon said. “I love coaching. I wish I could still do it. I really enjoyed the last two years. It as a great experience. It was like a dream to coach my alma mater. I never thought I’d be able to, because I was not a teacher. But the opportunity was great — we had great kids who had a lot of great parents, and the (Bellwood administration) was great. We had two winning seasons; we won the (Inter-County Conference) North last year. We did a lot of good things on the court.”
Conlon finished with a 33-16 record and helped Bellwood-Antis win the ICC North last season despite competing in the same division as District 6 Class 1A champion Juniata Valley. The Blue Devils also made the state playoffs.
“We were very sad to see him go, and he did a great job,” Bellwood-Antis athletic director Charlie Burch said. “He had an opportunity at work he couldn’t pass up, and it would have been too tough to run a program missing too much time. He said he’d still help out when he can.”
Conlon said he originally tried to make things work after being promoted to the Northeast regional sales manager position at Drayer, where he’s worked for eight years.
“I met with the AD (Charlie Burch) and principal (Rick Schreier), and we were going to try and see if we could make it work,” Conlon said. “Maybe I could rely on my assistants to do a lot of the work. But what it came down to was that it would be unfair for the players to have their head coach missing practices and some games. I’m hoping to stay involved somehow, maybe as a volunteer coach, being around whenever I can, if the new coach is open to that.”
Conlon resigned in August and informed his team the weekend of Aug. 24.
Bellwood-Antis opened the job internally, but had no interest. The school will be posting the job publicly this week and is hoping to get the position filled by later this month or early October.
“There’s been a lot going through the rumor mill,” Burch said. “There’s a lot of people interested who have experience as an assistant and even head coaching experience. We’ll see who applies.”