Hanover High School 'parted' with head football coach days before start of season
Wil Rider is no longer the head football coach at Hanover High School, Hanover athletic director Adam Mowrer confirmed Monday afternoon.
The school and Rider "parted" ways last week and Rider did not coach during last Friday's opening-night loss to Annville-Cleona. Mowrer declined to give a reason for the departure or answer if Rider was fired or resigned. He said the school does not comment on personnel issues.
When reached by phone Monday morning, Rider declined to comment on the situation.
Hanover does not currently have an interim head coach and might not officially have one this season. Assistant coaches Zac Carrick, Bryant Descheemaeker, Steve Weaver and Jon Ross split coaching responsibilities during Friday's game, according to Mowrer. He said the school hasn't named one of them interim coach and is comfortable with letting them share duties throughout the season.
However, Mowrer said the school is "exploring" hiring an experienced coach as an interim if they can find one. He said individuals who would be considered would possibly be retired head coaches.
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Hanover lost to Annville-Cleona, 55-12, at home Friday.
Rider was set to start his third season as Hanover's head coach. The Nighthawks went 2-5 during the COVID-abbreviated 2020 season and 3-7 last year. He previously served as the program's defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2019.
A 2001 South Western graduate, Rider also spent time as an assistant at Spring Grove under current York High head coach Russ Stoner.
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A Class 3A school, Hanover has had small participation numbers in recent years but had 42 players from grades nine through 12 listed on its opening-night roster. The Nighthawks had higher expectations this year with eight returning starters including four-year starting quarterback Chase Roberts.
A small-school District 3 football powerhouse for much of the 1970s through the 1990s, Hanover has had seven losing seasons in the past 10 years. The Nighthawks went 9-2 in 2015 and 5-5 the next two seasons.
Matt Allibone is a sports reporter for GameTimePA. He can be reached at 717-881-8221, email@example.com or on Twitter at @bad2theallibone.