Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Belle Vernon Coach Steps into Good Situation

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Belle Vernon Coach Steps into Good Situation

Article excerpt

Mike Doppelheuer has moved from the youth program to the varsity program at Belle Vernon Area.

Doppelheuer, a 1997 graduate of Connellsville High School, has taken over as Belle Vernon's head coach, replacing Tyler Nauman who stepped down after one season.

Doppelheuer was a three-year starter at Connellsville and qualified for the PIAA tournament as a senior. He decided to play baseball in college, but a knee injury ended his baseball career during his freshman year at Edinboro University. He transferred to California University of Pennsylvania the following year to finish his degree."

Doppelheuer got married and started a family shortly after graduating from California.

"I'm teaching at Connellsville Junior High, approximately 25 minutes from my home in Belle Vernon," Doppelheuer said. "Over the last few years I had the chance to be an assistant at both Connellsville and Belle Vernon, but didn't think it would work with such a young family."

With two young sons, Doppelheuer began working with the youth program at Belle Vernon.

"This is my fourth year with the youth program," said Doppelheuer, who added varsity head coach to his resume this year. "I never really left wrestling. I've been officiating for the last 12 years."

Doppelheuer takes over one of the most talented teams in the WPIAL. The Leopards had to replace only one starter who graduated from a squad that advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals last year. Ten returning starters had 20 or more wins last season, including two PIAA qualifiers: junior Austin Bell (39-7 at 160) and sophomore Jared Verkleeren (21-6 at 145). Bell won a WPIAL title.

"Are expectations are high, but I have to keep the kids focussed," Doppelheuer said. "Our job is to prepare them mentally and physically for the season."

Section 2 favorites

Belle Vernon and Connellsville are the teams to beat in Section 2. …

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