A volunteer who worked on the staff of a recently fired head coach has been appointed to the helm of the Northern Lehigh High School boys' basketball team.
The school board on a 7-0 vote Monday agreed to appoint Jeffrey Miller to the position at a salary of $6,775. Directors Mathias Green and Natalie Green were absent.
Miller, who did not attend the meeting, replaces former head coach Richard Oertner, who was fired last month on a 6-3 vote as head boys' basketball coach.
The board's action to terminate Oertner was in response to the unsafe transportation of a player by Oertner. The incident occurred as Oertner was traveling along Shadow Oaks Lane on July 28 when Superintendent Michael Michaels and several school board members observed the unidentified player on top of Oertner's vehicle, said Police Chief David Rachman.
As a result, the board in August unanimously agreed to table a motion to rescind the appointment of Oertner from his position as head boys basketball coach. Oertner was originally reappointed to the position April 12.
Board President Edward Hartman said at that time the board tabled the motion "due to an ongoing investigation" of Oertner's unsafe transportation of a player.
Oertner issued an apology to the board at that time, in which he declined to accept the board's offer to resign, but said he would be willing to donate his salary next season back to the school or be placed on probation.
This past season, Oertner guided the team to a 19-6 record and Colonial League title, the team's third in four seasons.
For his career, Oertner had a 162-98 record, and his team won the 2007-08 District 11 2A Championship.
In other co-curricular appointments for the 2010-11 school year, the board approved:
- David Oertner, senior high fall intramurals, basketball, at a stipend of $793.
- Melinda Talpas, elementary chorus adviser (shared stipend), at a stipend of $290.