Reightler retires as Catty track coach
Over the past 25 years, Glenn Reightler literally has a sea of memories as Catasauqua’s head track and field coach, recalling interesting individuals as well as district champions. It’s a litany of both boys’ and girls’ standouts, many in the track portion of the program that was his specialty as an assistant coach under legendary head coach Will Strein.
With Reightler retiring from his teaching position at the high school, Reightler also will not return to the program for the 2018 season.
“Every year, I was blessed to have some talented kids,” said Reightler, who had two stints with the program initially beginning in 1986. “I was the head coach for a while and then took time off when my second daughter was born. Later, I came back again.
“I always enjoyed the kids. They were really hard workers. We had trouble with numbers and that held us back from winning a number of league meets.”
Reightler especially was pleased with the performances of his girls’ and boys’ relay teams both in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. In the past few years, the Roughies’ had a successful girls’ 4 x 100 team.
He noted the most successful relay team in the school’s history, a group of five girls who recorded two second-place finishes, a third, and a fourth at the state meet in Shippensburg over a four-year period in the early 1990s.
A boys’ team also was very successful four years ago.
“It always has been one of my favorite groups to coach,” said Reightler. “We had a lot of good relay teams over the years. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we had some very strong teams. We had a number of kids who were league and district champs and we traditionally did well at the league meets.”
Reightler, who was a standout halfback and sprinter at Catasauqua before his graduation in 1979, soon began his coaching career with football at his alma mater in the fall of 1983 a few months after his graduation from Lock Haven University. It was a career that lasted 20 years.
“We had some very good teams back then,” recalled Reightler. “I was fortunate to start coaching with Ed Csencsits. It was a great run and I really enjoyed it.”
Reightler, who taught at Catty for 15 years and also in other school districts, might entertain returning to coaching track in the future. He will treasure his various memories with the Roughies.
“I talked to some people and I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” said Reightler. “I coached as well as I could here.
“In the past, we always had kids who came from families with deep Catty ties. That has changed over the last seven or eight years. The makeup of the families and the town has changed.
“Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if you have 200 kids out like some of the bigger schools. It comes down here to a smaller group of kids who worked really hard.”