Panther Valley football coach Frank Damian will not be on the sidelines when his team visits Tamaqua on Friday night.

Panther assistant coaches will handle the team in his absence.

"I am voluntarily taking myself out of Friday's game against Tamaqua," said Damian. "For the safety of my players, my family, and for the integrity of the game of football, I will not be coaching."

Damian wouldn't comment on the details surrounding his decision.

The TIMES NEWS has learned that problems between the teams dates back to last year's two meetings both of which were won by the Panthers. The second Panther Valley victory came in the quaterfinal round of the District 11 Class AA playoffs and ended Tamaqua's season.

This is Damian's fourth year as the Panthers' head coach. A year ago, he led his team to a 9-3 overall record the most victories for the program since 1992. This will be the first game he has missed since taking over the program.