Wiley hired to lead Deer Lakes football program
TribLIVE Sports Videos
T.J. Wiley knows what it's like to beat the odds.
Once told he couldn't play quarterback because of his 5-foot-8 size, he went on to pass for more than 4,000 yards at Titusville High School and started for three years at Thiel before a short stint in the arena league.
Later, he was labeled “crazy” for taking over as coach at Northgate, but he led the flickering Flames to a playoff spot in his first season.
Now, onto the next challenge in which he's supposed to fail.
Wiley was hired Tuesday to be the next football coach at Deer Lakes, replacing Todd Hazlett, who was not retained after six seasons.
“I like to prove people wrong,” said Wiley, 33, who was at Northgate the past two seasons. “Deer Lakes' struggles have been well-documented. I am not naive to that. When I took over Northgate, they had only six wins in five years. I was hired in June, a month and a half before training camp, but we had a winning season and made the (Class A) playoffs. It can be done.”
A former assistant at Titusville and Shaler, Wiley also was the head coach at Penn-Trafford for one season, in 2009, before resigning for personal reasons.
Wiley lives in Allison Park and teaches special needs children at Bradley Center in Robinson Township.
Deer Lakes made its first WPIAL playoff appearance two years ago, but went 2-8 and 3-6 the past two seasons.
“There is more of a true foundation for success in place,” Wiley said. “I'm not going to tell you we're going to win a WPIAL championship next year, but I really believe we'll come in and be competitive. The kids will be prepared.
“I just hope people doubt us.”
It wouldn't be the first time.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.