Carey takes over North Hills football program
North Hills football is all about tradition. So, when the legendary Jack McCurry vacated his post after a 35-season run as the head football coach at North Hills, the program needed more than just a replacement.
District officials didn't have to look far for the next coach and couldn't have found anyone who screams North Hills football more than Pat Carey.
“Pat Carey fits the mold of what is a long line of outstanding coaches at North Hills. The foundation, which he helped establish, is in place for this individual to have a long and successful tenure as a WPIAL AAAA head football coach,” said Dan Cardone, North Hills' athletic director.
Carey, the defensive coordinator for the Indians since 1998, also played on the historic 1987 National Championship Indians team that also won the WPIAL title that year. Carey was the captain of that squad.
“I am excited to coach at my alma mater, where I have been an assistant coach,” Carey said. “I am really excited to follow such a great man, and I have a lot of gratitude toward Jack, who was a mentor to me.”
Carey said that much of the foundation that was in place will remain in place, but he also will put his thumbprint on several aspects of the team.
The first thing he will do, he said, is get to know the players better and get the communication flow going.
As far as his staff, Carey said, he plans to remain in charge of the defense and will delegate the offensive duties to his staff.
Carey's defense has been dominant. In 2000, his unit allowed the fewest points in Quad A football for the season, and he helped the team reach the playoffs 15 times.
“There are four gentlemen who were on Jack's staff who will stay, so that will make the transition easy for me,” Carey said. “I have the chance to hire a few guys, so I think the transition will be seamless.
“I will remain the defensive coordinator; that is where I am comfortable.”
Carey, of the North Hills, already has met with his personnel and now is anxious to move to phase two, which is weight lifting.
“Honestly, what I am the most excited about is getting out on the field and getting the ball rolling,” Carey said.
The 1988 North Hills graduate went on to letter in football four times at James Madison University in Virginia. He earned a degree in kinesiology and is a health and physical-education instructor at North Hills Senior High School.
He has been inducted into the North Hills School District Hall of Fame and was named the 2003 AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org