Great Valley athletic director Russ Wren said yesterday that Jan. 7 will be the cutoff date for applications to fill the school's vacant football coaching position.

The school decided not to renew the contract of Gary Phillips, who had been the Patriots coach for the last 17 seasons.

Wren said at least 15 people have applied for the post.

Phillips confirmed earlier this month that his coaching contract was not being renewed, but declined to comment otherwise. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"We have a selection committee - some of them from outside the school - to help us get the best person for the job," Wren said of the search for Phillips' successor. "We're not going to rush the process."

Great Valley's announcement that it would not rehire Phillips came after the Patriots' 3-8 season. They were 2-3 in the Ches-Mont League's American Division.

At the time, Wren said he could not comment on the decision because it was a personnel matter.

"I'm not at liberty to divulge the reasons for the decision," Wren said yesterday. "I can't get into it because it's a personnel matter."

Phillips is a teacher at the school. In 2008, the Patriots were 8-4 overall, 4-1 in the division.

They were 6-6 overall, 3-2 in the division in 2007.

Coaching contracts are generally for a period of one year, subject to renewal.

- Don Beideman