Meet the Athletics Department

Director of Athletics and Athletic Planning

 John Thiel

John Thiel leads the athletics department, supporting the needs of the boys and girls programs in both the Upper and Middle Schools. His emphasis is on long-range planning with a focus on facilities and fields, fund-raising to support the athletics program, and strategies to support top coaches. Thiel is responsible for hiring of non-faculty coaches and all athletics department personnel. He also participates with other school administrators in the process of hiring full-time teacher/coaches.

Prior to coming to Penn Charter in 2012, Thiel worked for 23 years as an athletics director. From 2007 to 2012, he served as athletics director at Woodberry Forest School, an independent boarding high school in Central Virginia. At Woodberry, his work emphasized building shared vision and values for the athletics program among students, parents, faculty and staff. In addition, he provided leadership to the Virginia Prep League by proposing and helping to pass a new constitution; he also helped develop and renovate gym facilities, an Olympic track and two synthetic fields.

Prior to Woodberry, Thiel was the director of athletics and head football coach at Breck School in Golden Valley, Minn. During his 18-year tenure at Breck, he was instrumental in restructuring the coaching staff for each athletic offering; developing the girls athletic program to provide young women both opportunity and equity with the boys’ experience; and establishing systems of communications for students, parents and coaches. In addition, he increased student participation; built and enhanced facilities; and led a program that regularly competed and won championships at the state level. While at Breck, he was named Conference Coach of the Year eight times, Section Coach of the Year five times, and State Class AA Coach of the Year twice.

Thiel has a BA in history from Williams College and a master's in educational administration. He also worked at Macalester College and Pomona College as an athletics administrator and coach at the college level.

Associate Directors of Athletics

Darci Borski

Darci' Borski's responsibilties include assigning all game officials for both middle and upper school contests. Borski had an immediate inpact her first year at PC, leading the girls soccer team to the Inter Ac and State championships. A stellar high school, collegiate and professional soccer player, Borski has worked as a coach and elementary school teacher since 2004; she also founded and administers a summer soccer program, the Darci Borski Soccer Academy. Borski was head coach of Germantown Academy varsity girls soccer from 2005-2011 and led the team to four undefeated Inter-Ac titles. In 2007, she was named Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association Coach of the Year; in 2008 she was named Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame High School Coach of the Year. Borski teaches lower and upper school P.E.

Ed Foley OPC '81

Ed Foley's primary responsibilities include scheduling for upper school sports, and all indoor and outdoor facilities except the squash center. Foley's other responsibilities include teaching P.E. in the fall and spring and Economics during the winter trimester. He currently coaches middle school football and baseball. Foley has been the head coach of the Philadelphia Little Quakers youth football team for almost 30 years. Foley attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he played baseball and earned All Ivy in football while playing on 3 Ivy League Championship teams.

Middle School Athletics Director

Brian Hecker

Brian aides the athletics department as our department's connection to all things Middle School. Brian has the pulse of the building and assists us with dismissals; class scheduling and updates the department on important events occurring in our MS students lives. Brian currently is our Girls Water Polo and Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving Head Coach.

Strength & Conditioning Coach

Athletics Trainer

John Estok, MS, CSCS,PES

John joined the athletics department in January of 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburg and most recently came to Penn Charter from Villanova University's S&C program. John works closely with our coaches to enhance our athletes performance. John oversees the athletes development in the areas of strength, speed, agility and conditioning. He worked closely with John Thiel on the complete renovation of the Blaine A. Steinberg OPC '11 Center for Fitness and Performance, located in the Graham Center. John also teaches in the Physical Education department.


Jess Rawlings MS, ATC

Jessica graduated from Temple University in 2014 with a bachelor's of science degree in athletic training. As an undergrad Jess worked with Widener, Temple, and The University of Pennsylvania athletics, as well as the Shipley School.  She continued her education at Temple and earned her master's degree 2016. While pursuing her MS, Jess was the graduate assistant athletic trainer for Penn Charter. Jess also teaches Anatomy and Physiology at Temple.

Administrative Assistant to Athletics

Assistant to the Athletics Directors

April Witherspoon

215-844-3460 x 177

Gerry Sasse

215-844-3460 x 189


Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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