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August 12, 2013

Sharon football coach in hospital after he’s attacked at home

SHARON — Sharon High School football coach Jim Wildman was attacked in his Bentley Avenue home shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, for reasons yet unknown, city Police Chief Mike Menster said.

The perpetrator, a Sharon man whose name wasn’t being released, went up to Wildman’s home and forced entry, then “began assaulting” Wildman, Menster said.

A city police detective who lives across the street was alerted to the assault and responded to Wildman’s home.

The neighbors grabbed the man and pulled him off Wildman, and he was taken into custody.

The man wasn’t armed, and no one was shot, contrary to police radio reports about the call, Menster said.

“There was no gun involved. This was purely a hand-to-hand assault,” Menster said.

Wildman was injured and taken to UPMC Horizon Farrell then transferred to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he was being admitted Sunday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The man who assaulted Wildman was also hurt and was taken to a “local hospital” where he is under police guard, Menster said.

“He is in police custody,” Menster said.

No charges were filed Sunday.

“We’re going to have to review this whole thing (today),” Menster said.

“This was an unprovoked attack,” is how Menster described the assault.

Wildman retired in 2002 after a quarter-century stint as head coach of the Sharon High Tigers, where he compiled a then-record 208 wins during his tenure.

In February, Sharon school board members gave Wildman a three-year contract to return to the sidelines this fall.

When he was re-hired, Wildman described himself as “65 going on 43.”

His coaching prowess is the stuff of local lore, and during the 1990s his teams tallied 103 victories. He is a member of both the Mercer County (2003) and Pennsylvania (2000) sports halls of fame.

Wildman’s neighbors declined to comment about the attack.

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