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Camp Hill varsity football coach resigns one day before first game

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Just as football season was getting underway, Camp Hill's varsity football coach changed the play. On Thursday, the day before the first game of the season, Frank Gay resigned from his position as head coach.

Many of the Camp Hill parents in the stands at Friday's game at Palmyra were uncomfortable, upset or just plain surprised. Most of them did not want to talk with CBS 21, but said they were big fans of Frank Gay. Coach Tim Bigelow has been named interim head coach.

A roaring crowd cheered for the Camp Hill Lions in hopes of claiming a victory at their season opener. The team lost 24-21. The feeling in the stands was mixed and not because of the score.

"I was totally shocked."

"We’re very apprehensive and nervous for him."

According to a statement from Camp Hill Superintendent Patricia Craig, Frank Gay resigned Thursday for "personal reasons."

"I found out this evening when I got here. They gave us papers of team members and his name wasn’t on there," said Camp Hill team bus driver Wendolyn Delaware.

Delaware has been driving the team bus for the last five years.

"He would come on and give them a pep talk and the kids just seemed to really like him," said Delaware of Gay.

On the sidelines tonight, Coach Tim Bigelow stood in Gay's spot as the new interim head coach. Bigelow's father spoke with CBS 21 News in the stands.

"It was very shocking. We heard the news yesterday. He really likes Coach Gay a lot and I’m sure it’s a blow to him," said Bruce Bigelow.

CBS 21 tried to speak with Frank Gay at his home Friday, but neither he nor his family wanted to speak.

Bruce Bigelow says he's not entirely sure what happened.

"It’s very unusual to resign the day before the season starts obviously."

He says now the focus is on the kids.

"These are great kids. They are and always are. The kids in our town of Camp Hill are always very good football players and they seem to respond to these kinds of adversities," said Bigelow.

The players are familiar with Coach Bigelow, as he's served as one of Camp Hill's varsity coaches for several years. The superintendent says she has the "utmost confidence" in Coach Bigelow.

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