With one vote, the Lehighton Area School District School Board ended months of controversy over the district's head baseball coach.
Brian Polaha will step in as the new head coach for the upcoming season. He currently resides in Lehighton.
Polaha played baseball as a high school student at Allen High School. He has been the manager of the Northern Yankees, a tri-county baseball league, for the past three seasons. Polaha also worked with LCCC last season.
District athletics director Shawn Hindy expressed optimism for the change, noting that Polaha has experience coaching baseball and a love for the game.
"He loves baseball and wants to do all that he can for the program," said Hindy. "I believe he's going to do a great job with the kids. He's going to help our program as a whole."
Polaha will replace former coach George Harris, who coached the team for the past three seasons. While Harris led the team to the Mountain Valley Conference playoffs last year with a 12-10 season, team members circulated a petition for his removal this year and presented the petition to the school board.
Members of the team and community were divided by the petition, with some arguing that team members were circulating the petition out of anger because they were not played often enough. They noted that in the three years Harris has coached, he has had winning seasons: in 2007, 5-14; 2008, 13-8; and 2009, 12-10. The year before Harris joined Lehighton, the team won just one of 18 games.
Hindy had no further comments on the replacement, noting that the team can now move forward and begin preparing for the upcoming season.
"We're happy to finally have the coaching position solved," he said.