Just days before the start of the 2012-13 season, Ray Bressi has stepped down as head girls basketball coach at Lehighton.

Bressi was preparing to begin his second year in charge of the Lady Indian program, but abruptly stepped down on Tuesday, which was just three days before the team opens its season against Palmerton.

"Coach Bressi told me on Tuesday that he would have to step down for personal reasons," said Lehighton Athletic Director Kyle Spotts, who declined to elaborate on what the reasons were.

"I didn't see this coming and either did our players," said Spotts. "They were pretty shocked when they found out.

"Fortunately, assistant coach Chris Kasian has agreed to step in and take over the varsity program this season."

Kasian was part of Bressi's staff last year.

"The girls are familiar with Chris and he knows the girls," said Spotts. "So that should lead to a pretty smooth transition. I checked in on practice the last two days and the team doesn't look like it has missed a beat."

Spotts said Bressi's resignation and Kasian's elevation to head coach will both have to be formally approved at the next school board meeting on Dec. 17, but he doesn't anticipate that being a problem.

In Bressi's only season at the helm of the Indians, the team went 2-20 overall and 1-11 in the Mountain Valley Conference. The Lehighton girls basketball program has had just one winning season in the last 15 years.