The Lehighton Area School Board last night voted to retain George Ebbert as the head football coach for the 2010 season.

Last month, the board was split between hiring Ebbert and Tom McCarroll, who would be making his debut as a varsity head coach.

Ebbert has been the Indians head coach the past two years. He is a lifelong resident of Lehighton, having played high school football for the school. Before his head coaching position, he had been an assistant coach.

"I would just like to thank the board for its support," said Ebbert. "It's been a nerve-racking process the last couple of months, but I'm glad we are going to get the opportunity to finish what we've started here at Lehighton."

The board voted last night on the matter without any discussion. In fact, many people didn't know until the meeting was ended who the board hired.

What happened was the board approved a list of coaches "as submitted," with only the board having the list.

This list was approved on a roll call vote of 7-2. The negative votes were cast by Duane Eidem and Andrew Yenser.

Despite not knowing if they would be retained or not, Ebbert and his staff have still been involved in the off-season lifting and conditioning program for the football program.

"It's been business as usual," said Ebbert. "It wouldn't have been fair to the kids to just to sit back and wait to see what the board's decision was going to be. So we've been handling things just like we've done in the past."

Ebbert is already looking forward to the upcoming season.

"I'm thrilled with the opportunity to return as coach," he said. "I've received a lot of support from the players and their parents during the past couple of months and I'm anxious to prove that support and confidence was warranted."

The school board did not name any assistant football coaches, but it is expected that Ebbert's staff from last year will remain intact.

In one other matter involving athletics, the board agreed to make formal application for membership in the Colonial League for sporting events.

The school presently is a member of the Mountain Valley Conference which includes such schools as Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain East and West, and East Stroudsburg North and South.

The Colonial League members include Palmerton, Northern Lehigh, and Northwestern Lehigh, as well as Bangor, Notre Dame of Green Pond, Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg, and Southern Lehigh.

"We feel it's in the best interest of our students," said Superintendent James Kraky regarding the application.

The list of coaches approved last night were:

Ÿ Head football - George Ebbert.

Ÿ Head boys' basketball - Michael O'Brien.

Ÿ Assiatant boys' basketball - Tommy Foulk, Aaron Foulk, Nick Salezze, Barry Haupt (Middle School) and Jeffrey Kirsch (Middle School).

Ÿ Head girls' basketball - Tony Thomas.

Ÿ Assistant girls' basketball - Andrew Homyak, Jessica McCarroll, Larry Koons (Middle School) and Courtney Schleicher (Middle School).

Ÿ Cheerleading Advisors - Beth Kamowski and Lisa Sawyer.