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High school notebook: Longtime Bishop Canevin football coach retires

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Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Bishop Canevin's head coach Bob Jacoby on Monday August 13, 2012.
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Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 10:50 a.m.

Bishop Canevin's Bob Jacoby, one of the WPIAL's longest-tenured football coaches, has decided to retire after 40 years leading the Crusaders.

Jacoby, 67, joined Canevin's football staff as an assistant in 1968 and became head coach in 1973. His teams won more than 200 games during those four decades, including a WPIAL Class AA title in 1990 when the Crusaders also reached the state championship game. They were WPIAL runners-up in 1983.

Among football coaches active this past season, only Blackhawk's Joe Hamilton (47 seasons) and Upper St. Clair's Jim Render (44 seasons) had been on the job longer.

Jacoby retired from teaching after last school year, a move that ultimately influenced his decision to quit coaching as well.

“I really felt there was a disconnect with the student body and the rest of the school,” Jacoby said, “and that kind of bothered me during the season. ... It just didn't seem the same to me.”

He met Wednesday with current players to tell them he was retiring.

A graduate of North Catholic and Slippery Rock University, his career record was 238-170-7. Along with coaching football, Jacoby also spent three decades as athletic director and coached girls softball at the Catholic school near Crafton.

He reminisced with many of his past players at a reunion last Friday night.

“Just to see how successful a lot of those guys are now,” Jacoby said, “the memories that they had and that some of them are still good friends, that's one of the most rewarding things.”

Among those he coached was QB Tom Clements, who starred for the Crusaders when Jacoby was an assistant. Clements, now offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, led Notre Dame to a national title and had an outstanding career in the Canadian Football League.

Jacoby's sons, Eric and Neal, also played for him. Both were assistants on his staff, but neither was interested in replacing its father as coach.

“I think a lot of people assumed over the years that one of those two would follow me as the head coach,” Jacoby said, “but they really never had any intention of doing that. They've always enjoyed the assistant part. It was great for our family to have them both on the staff.”


Three WPIAL players were named to the Maxpreps All-American team Tuesday. Clairton senior Tyler Boyd, a Pitt recruit, was selected to the first team as a defensive back. Belle Vernon senior and Pitt recruit Dorian Johnson was a first-team offensive line selection, and North Allegheny senior and Michigan recruit Pat Kugler was named a second-team offensive lineman.

Outdoor games postponed

The PIHL outdoor games scheduled for Friday at South Park Ice Rink have been postponed to Feb. 22 because of warm temperatures.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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