The Pittston Area golf program will be under new leadership in the fall.
Jason Miller, an assistant coach in the program for the past five years, will take over as head coach for Len Benfante, who retired after 28 years leading the team.
Miller, who teaches sixth through eighth grade industrial arts at the Pittston Area Middle School, has also coached baseball in the district for eight years. He has spent the last five seasons as seventh and eighth-grade baseball and previously was a varsity assistant for three seasons.
“Coach Benfante did a good job,” Miller said. “I learned a lot from him.”
The Patriots went 3-7 last season and Miller sees increased playing time throughout the year as the best hopes for the team improving that record.
“I would say the kids need to play more overall,” Miller said. “We have a limited practice time at Fox Hill (Country Club) because Wyoming Area is also a team there.”
Miller said when Fox Hill is unavailable for practice, he hopes to make arrangements to take the team to Four Seasons Golf Club in Exeter for practice. Just as importantly, he is encouraging them to play more in the time between now and when the team gathers in mid-August.
“I hope to practice more overall in the season and try to get the kids more involved in the offseason, maybe with junior tournaments,” Miller said. “I’ll just try to keep up with them throughout the summer, just to know they are involved in golf in some way.
“It’s the type of sport where it is individualized. You have to do it on your own when no one’s looking.
“It doesn’t have to be tournament golf. Even if they’re out playing with their buddies, it helps.”
Miller said more than 20 students have expressed interest. There are seven returnees from last season’s team.
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