At its regular meet Monday evening, the Huntingdon Area School Board voted to hire Juniata Valley assistant Shane Thomas to become the next Bearcat head football coach.

Thomas takes over for retired head coach Mike Hudy who led the Bearcats to a 39-39 record over seven seasons. The Bearcats were 10-2 in 2017 and were district runners-up. Last year, they finished with a 5-6 mark.

Thomas attended Juniata College and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Mathematics Secondary Education. In 2017, he received his masters in education from St. Francis University.

The new Bearcat head coach began his career at Southern Huntingdon where he was a varsity assistant and head junior varsity coach for two seasons, beginning in 2010. He came to Juniata Valley in 2012 and served as a junior high and varsity assistant for two seasons. In 2014, he became the junior high head coach, while continuing as a varsity assistant. He led the Hornets junior high team to a 24-13 overall record, including the first undefeated season in school history, and a pair of conference championships.

He also served as defensive coordinator for the Railroad City Bandits in 2015 and 2016. The Railroad City Bandits were a semi-pro team in Altoona playing in the GEFA League.

He has also served as throwing coach for the Hornet track teams for the past seven years.

In the classroom, Thomas has been a math teacher for the past eight years, teaching a variety of subjects at several levels. He has also served as an advisor for the Varsity Club and the SWPBS Program.

Thomas’s goal is to build a successful football program that excels on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

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