Pifer resigns again as State College High School wrestling coach

State College Area High School wrestling coach Ron Pifer has resigned from his second term running the Little Lions’ program.
Pifer, 63, had coached State College to considerable success in the 1970s before taking a coaching position at West Point, where he was an assistant for three years and head coach for four years before returning to State College as an administrator in the late 1980s.
Pifer had been out of coaching for several years when he accepted the coaching job in 2001. It was a time when the State College was in some turmoil. Head coach Len Rockey had resigned, and State College’s team was loaded with transfers.
Pifer guided the Little Lions through three strong seasons, including an appearance in the PIAA Class AAA team championships his first season. State College was beaten by Easton 35-19 in the championship match.
Pifer, a two-time PIAA champion at Bellefonte in 1957 and 1958 and an NCAA runner-up at Penn State, coached 13 total seasons at State College and produced eight state champions, 17 PIAA Northwest Region champions and 25 District 6 Class AAA champions. His dual meet record was 132-43-2.
PIAA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS TO UNDERGO CHANGES: The PIAA swimming and diving championships will undergo a significant overhaul next year, primarily because of a change in venue.
The 2005 championships will move from Penn State’s McCoy Natatorium to Bucknell University’s Arthur D. Kinney Jr. Natatorium as the result of the PIAA’s recently implemented bidding process.
The move has pros and cons, according to coaches and swimming officials.
Among the biggest benefits of moving to Bucknell is an expansion from six lanes to eight, which should make for a quicker meet and the opportunity for more swimmers to gain state medals. Parking at Bucknell is more readily available and cheaper than at Penn State.
But Kinney Natatorium seats only 500, nearly one-half the capacity of McCoy’s 990 available seats, and spectator seating at Penn State has been notoriously cramped. The PIAA hopes to alleviate some of the seating issues by adding portable bleachers.
In addition, the seating issue might force the PIAA to come up with a schedule radically different from what has been used in the past. Traditionally, the PIAA has competed the Class AAA and Class AA meets together, but now might have to run separate meets.
Lodging accommodations are another issue. A recent boom in hotel building has made lodging more accessible in State College; there is considerably less lodging in the Lewisburg area than in State College.
SPOONER TO DUKE: Defending PIAA Class AA 3,200-meter run champion Chris Spooner of Lewisburg will attend Duke University on a partial scholarship.
Spooner, who outran Scranton Prep’s Jon Pastore for last year’s championship in the 3,200, chose Duke over Notre Dame, Georgetown and Wake Forest.
“I’m going for the education, and they offer one of the best in the country,” said Spooner, a Lewisburg senior.