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Pennridge selects head football coach


For the Pennridge football program, it was a matter of passing the torch. In fact, it couldn’t have been any simpler.

Last week, Chuck Burgy was officially named Pennridge’s new head football coach, replacing Cody Muller, who relocated to Texas after four years at the helm. Muller had compiled an overall 23-20 record and had a 15-6 record over the past two seasons.

Burgy, who has coached on Pennridge staff for 13 years and has been a high school English teacher for 13 years in the system, was Muller’s lead assistant and also coached the lines. He played at Archbishop Wood and is a Villanova graduate.

Burgy began at Pennridge in 2005 under former head coach Jeff Hollenbach, and took a few years off to raise his family.

He was happy for the smooth transition. Burgy, who also will be the defensive coordinator, plans to retain the coaching staff and add a few coaches. Former Palisades and Whitehall assistant and Pennridge grad Dave Cressman will be the offensive coordinator.

“This is my first head coaching job, and hopefully, my last,” mused Burgy. “I am looking forward to it because I’ve got to know people on the board, booster club and the district.

“Coach Muller formed a good foundation, and I was able to learn so much from him. He and his father did a great job here. I had an idea that this might happen, and I felt prepared to take over if the job was offered to me.”

The Rams posted an overall 7-5 record last year, and they advanced to the district final two years ago.

Looking at their recent history, Burgy believes there isn’t a need for an overhaul.

“It’s about bringing it to the next level,” stated Burgy. “Our feeder programs took a hit from COVID, but it has bounced back because we have a good group of veteran coaches down there.

“We have about 20-25 kids in each grade in middle school who want to play football in high school. It is a positive outlook for the future.”

Burgy plans to further heighten the program to middle schoolers at a football camp in July. The Pennridge Greenjackets football youth program held speed and agility workouts on Mondays throughout June.

“We want them to have the chance to play on the big field,” said Burgy. “It will help us to continue to build with our youth.”

Burgy’s appointment also set the team’s weight training program back into motion.

“We were able to open up the weight room again when I was officially approved,” he said. “We want to encourage them to get back at it, and we have a solid group of freshmen as well as 10th to 12th graders.”

He estimated that there will be 60 candidates in the sophomore to senior range. However, the Rams will have a group of 25 seniors back in the mix. Senior linebacker/running back Phil Picciotti is a four-star recruit who is entertaining offers from Auburn, Oklahoma, Michigan and Nebraska.

Athletic Director Scott Hegen is confident Burgy can successfully lead the program.

“We are really excited to have Chuck take over the program,” Hegen said. “He has had some time as our ‘lead’ coach since Cody Muller resigned and has worked really hard to prepare the team and coaching staff for the upcoming season. He is ready to coach against some great coaches in the SOL. Chuck is inheriting a team with a large senior class with a high ceiling. He is a natural leader who will make solid decisions to put the players in the right place to be a successful team in 2022.

“He and I have already met this week to work on a lot of the off the field topics that he needs to learn as a new head coach in our building. The plus is he has worked in our building for 12 years and knows the lay of the land.”

Burgy sees plenty of positives as well as some new challenges.

“We have a great group of seniors,” said Burgy. “I’m also fortunate to have six of my coaches teaching in the same building with me. We can see the kids from 6:15 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

“I’ve tried to learn as much as I could, and my head has been spinning with about 5,000 ideas since I was hired. It has been a different game since about 2014 with many other things to think about as a head coach.

“But it is all OK. We have about eight weeks until we begin the heat acclimatization week. We’ll learn who we can be and do what we need to be a very competitive team.”