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Jim Grugan seen here during his time with Cardinal Dougherty, was appointed head coach of Sun Valley on Tuesday.

By WillieMcGonigle


he mystery of who would be the next head football coach at Sun Valley High School has been solved. At a special meeting held last Tuesday, the Penn-Delco School District Board of Directors appointed Jim Grugan head football coach by a vote of 5-3.

Board members A. Lewis Boughner, Kathleen Ieradi, John O’Donnell, Gina Orr and Vice President Kim Robinson all voted for Grugan while board members Kevin Tinsley, Brian Walker and President Anthony Ruggieri vote against the motion offered by O’Donnell. Board member Peter Schweikert was not present.

“I can’t wait! That’s kind of the best thing; we don’t have the long off-season. We can get back on the field,” Grugan said, adding that he was able to talk to some of the players and that he had seen film of the team. Grugan will make his Sun Valley debut on September 2nd when the Vanguards visit Marple-Newtown.

The motion to appoint Grugan was the second of the night. There was a motion to appoint former Sun Valley head coach Joe Possenti to the position. That motion failed with a vote of 4-4.  Tinsley, Walker, Ruggieri and Boughner all voted for Possenti while Orr, Ieradi, O’Donnell and Robinson voted against.

Ruggeri said, “I think it was a sad, sad day that we had a gentleman (Possenti) on the agenda that was the top scorer of the candidates and he was provided the opportunity to be hired and he was turned down.” Robinson responded to Ruggeri, saying, “It was a sad day when it happened to another candidate (Joe DiTullio) as well.”

For Grugan, this will be his first non-Catholic school position. He was last a head coach for now-defunct Cardinal Dougherty where he worked from 2008-2009 compiling a record of 4-14. Prior to that, Grugan worked as an assistant coach at Conwell Egan and, for six years, in a similar position at North Catholic. When Dougherty closed, Grugan returned to assistant coaching at Conwell Egan.

The Sun Valley position became available in April when then-head coach Mark Possenti’s contract was not renewed. The board later voted to appoint DiTullio, only to take back its appointment because of a rumor that alleged DiTullio would leave if a similar position became open at Springfield High School. DiTullio later denied the rumors. At a later meeting, the board again voted not to renew the contract of Mark Possenti, Joe Possenti’s brother.

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