Hopewell officials temporarily fill manager's post

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The death of Hopewell manager Andy Brunette left a large void in the community he served.

Township officials now need someone to fill the well-known public figure's role as manager and controller. The Hopewell Area School District also is without its bowling and tennis coach. Mr. Brunette, 47, died March 11 after collapsing while playing tennis.

Replacing Mr. Brunette will be difficult, said Hopewell Area School District athletic director Don Short.

“He was a tremendous person and coach,” he said. “Everyone knew him. He was interwoven in the community.”

The Hopewell boys bowling team, which includes his son, Andrew, competed Saturday in the state tournament without their coach. They placed last, but played with heart, he said.

Plans for a new coach have not been decided, Mr. Short said.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get by,” he said, adding that he had temporarily taken over coordinating for the teams. “We’ve got counseling for the student athletes. Right now we’re trying to wing it. We’re all shocked.”

Likewise, plans to find a new township manager are temporarily on hold, but Commissioners President Norm Kraus said all of their bases are covered.

Mr. Kraus said the board has appointed Wendy Kasunic acting manager. Ms. Kasunic previously served as assistant township manager and worked closely with Mr. Brunette.

There are no immediate plans to look for a replacement out of respect for the family, he said.

In the meantime, everyone is pitching in, and “getting back to work with heavy hearts,” Mr. Kraus said, adding that is what Mr. Brunette would have told them to do.

Lauren Lindstrom: llindstrom@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1964.

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