Assistant coach Larry Yarbray is expected to be approved as Chester High's head boys' basketball coach tomorrow at a meeting of the Chester-Upland school board, a source close to the situation said.

Yarbray could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Chester athletic director Jeffrey Legette would not confirm or deny Yarbray's expected hiring. "You will find out on Thursday who the new coach will be," he said.

Yarbray would replace Fred Pickett, who retired after leading the Clippers to their sixth PIAA state title in March.

"The selection committee made the decision last week," the source said of Yarbray's hiring. "They just wanted to wait until [tomorrow] before going public."

Yarbray, a 1988 Chester graduate, served as a Clippers assistant coach for the last 10 seasons.

Keith Taylor and John Shelton were the other finalists for the position. Taylor is a 1987 Chester graduate who has served as a Clippers assistant for the last 16 seasons. Shelton is a middle school coach in the Chester-Upland School District.

Yarbray will follow a legend in taking over arguably the state's most storied program. Pickett, the Southeastern Pennsylvania coach of the year for 2008, had a career record of 331-80, with three Class AAAA state titles in 13 seasons.

Last season, the Clippers (33-1) broke their school's single-season victory record despite playing their toughest schedule ever. Chester concluded the season with a 25-game winning streak and defeated Norristown, 81-77, in the Class AAAA state championship game.

The Clippers' lone loss came to St. Benedict's Prep of New Jersey.

The team is losing four starters to graduation: Nasir Robinson (who will play for Pittsburgh), Russell Johnson (Robert Morris), Karon Burton and Kevin Green-Germany. Chester, however, will return one of the state's premier players, junior forward Rhalir Jefferson.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.