The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


June 27, 2013

Hollern leaving Bishop McCort for Florida’s Oxbridge Academy

JOHNSTOWN — Pat Hollern’s impact at Bishop McCort High School is evident in the fact that the Crushers athletic program must fill three significant duties when he leaves for Florida next month.

The successful Crushers boys’ basketball coach also served as the school’s athletic director and was a respected liaison with the local media, producing press packets and game notes sometimes more thorough than material handed out at the small-college level.

On Thursday, Hollern announced he accepted the positions of communications and digital media coordinator and assistant boys’ basketball coach at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla. He will reunite with Craig Sponsky, the former Bishop Carroll athletic director and football coach who now serves as Oxbridge’s AD. Dwayne McClain, a key player on Villanova’s 1985 NCAA championship basketball team, is the head coach at Oxbridge.

Hollern’s final day at McCort is July 11.

“Craig (Sponsky) and I talked frequently since I left Bishop Carroll,” said Hollern, who coached boys’ basketball at Bishop Carroll before taking the McCort job in 2004-05. “We remained friends. He told me about the possibility of a position. We took the family down and thought now was a good time. If we were ever going to decide to move, now would be the time. The kids are young and the transition would be a little easier.”

Hollern and his wife, Ashley, have three children, daughter Reilly, 7, and sons Peyton, 5, and Carson, 1.

“It’s pretty exciting. They’re a new school. This will be their third year of existence,” Hollern said. “This will be their first graduating class. This is a truly student-based school. There are incredible people running it. Their No. 1 concern was me and my family.”

Hollern went 166-69 in nine seasons as Bishop McCort’s boys’ basketball coach. The Crushers were 19-9 and won the LHAC crown last season. Under Hollern, McCort earned District 6 Class AA titles in 2012, 2011, 2007 and 2005. He also led Bishop Carroll to a 6-A championship in 2004, his third and final year with the Huskies. Overall, Hollern went 203-109 as a high school head coach.

McCort named Hollern its athletic director in August, 2012, though his role as Director of Athletic Development included many of the AD duties for four years.

Hollern also was proactive in his media relations duties, alerting local media of events and activities well in advance and wowing both local and out-of-town media with gameday media information packets packed with statistics, roster information and history. Hollern produced the press material for football, basketball, baseball and soccer. His Crushers sports weekly updates included all sports.

“Pat and I have been associates since when I was at Carroll and he left to go back to McCort,” said Sponsky, who recently completed his first academic calendar year at Oxbridge after a lengthy and distinguished stint as Bishop Carroll’s football coach. “At that time, Carroll was losing a lot by Pat returning to McCort, but we respected the job Pat did. I always thought very highly of his body of work and what he did. I’d see the things he would produce and promote at McCort. It was unmatched.”

Bishop McCort Acting Principal Dr. D.A. Gardill said the school will begin the process of replacing Hollern. She said McCort will determine whether one person would handle multiple positions as Hollern did, or if the school will hire additional personnel.

“It’s a big loss professionally for us and a big loss personally, but it’s a great opportunity for him,” Gardill said. “Pat, like his dad (the late Paul Hollern), was an unofficial historian of the school. That knowledge of the past and knowing what McCort has been, that made his sense of vision valuable.”

Gardill said Hollern’s skill set extended well beyond the basketball court.

“When Pat became athletic director, one thing that he’s really good at is his ability to communicate about sports and athletics,” Gardill said. “He really stepped up that aspect. His Crushers Sports e-newsletter, his game notes. Now, we must find someone to carry that on. It was such a high standard. He was so organized and together and on top of everything that comes along with being the athletic director. He was so efficient. Anyone we get to replace him has big shoes to fill.”

Hollern said his move wasn’t a result of the recent controversy at McCort involving allegations of abuse by a former employee.

“That didn’t play a role at all,” Hollern said. “McCort is strong. The kids are the heart and soul of the school. This is about a lifestyle decision and a lifestyle change.

“I really needed to spend more time around the house and being with the family. The fact the beach is 10 minutes away doesn’t hurt much.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Pirates cut down by Reds’ Cueto

    April 23, 2014

  • Penguins 0422 Blown leads are troubling trend in series

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sunnehanna makes changes to tourney week

    April 22, 2014

  • Penguins 0421 Penguins finish hot to grab 2-1 series lead

    Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0421 Pirates walk off against Reds to halt home skid

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.
    Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sitting Bulls bring home national sled hockey title

    The Johnstown Sitting Bulls disabled sled hockey team recently won a national championship.
    The team, comprised of disabled athletes from Cambria, Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Blair counties, finished first in the Youth B Division at the USA Hockey National Disabled Hockey Festival held April 11-13 in Marlborough, Mass.

    April 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marathon.jpg Marathon men’s winner has names of victims on bib

    The winner of the Boston Marathon men’s race had the names of last year’s victims written in marker on the corners of his race bib.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014

AP Sports Video

Should the NFL get rid of the extra-point attempt after a touchdown?

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow