Phantoms' Furlong resigns after 11 seasons

PHOENIXVILLE - Bill Furlong restored stability to the Phoenixville Area High School football program.

But now his 11-year tenure as head coach of the Phantoms has ended. Furlong submitted his resignation to Phoenixville athletic director Tony Palladino on Monday, Dec. 9.

Furlong said a variety of reasons entered into a decision that he had considered for some time. Furlong posted a 70-63 record as boss of the Phantoms, including a school-record three consecutive trips to the District 1-AAA playoffs.

This past season Phoenixville finished with a 4-5 record in the Pioneer Athletic Conference (PAC-10) and 4-9 overall. The person who takes over the position will have the benefit of a number of seniors and juniors who gained a lot of valuable experience in 2013 as well as some strong incoming sophomores for the 2014 campaign.

“I would like to focus on how much fun I’ve had and what we’ve accomplished there,” said Furlong. “When I first got there, we had to change the football culture from what football was before the turnaround there. The parents getting involved happened once we established ourselves.”

He looked back on positive items that developed, including winning the PAC-10 championship back in 2005 with a perfect 9-0 league mark (10-2 overall). And then there was the extra stuff that became part of the Phoenixville tradition with Play for the Cure games, Military Appreciation Nights along with policemen, firemen and emergency workers as well as the annual PAC-10 Senior Bowl All-Star game that started two years ago. The first such contest was played at Phoenixville’s own Washington Field in June.

Palladino hopes to fill the vacancy as soon as possible after posting the opening this past week. The goal is to have a qualified person in place to recommend to the school board in time for its February meeting.

The Phantoms have had a number of top individual players who have gone on to play at the collegiate level. Many of those players earned all-league honors on offense and defense as well as some of the special awards the circuit presents each season.