Serra hires Tony St. Angelo to lead football team
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:21 p.m.
Serra Catholic athletic director Bill Cleary made sure that each of the eight applicants he interviewed for the vacant football coaching job knew one thing about the program.
“I made all of them well aware of where we are,” Cleary said.
And still, Tony St. Angelo wanted the job.
Serra hired St. Angelo on Friday to take over a Serra program that is miles away from the team that won the WPIAL Class A title and was state runner-up six years ago.
“We like his experience and what he has to offer,” Cleary said.
St. Angelo was Elizabeth Forward's offensive coordinator the past two years under Mike LeDonne and helped turn the Warriors into a playoff team this past year.
“Everybody who applied for the job was well aware of where we are and how we have to climb out of it,” Cleary said. “I think we can get back to become a highly competitive program once again”
Jamie Eckels resigned in November after a three-year stint in which the Eagles went 5-23, including 5-18 in the Black Hills Conference.
St. Angelo wasn't deterred by the poor season.
“It was a job that I thought I could get, and it was a step up,” St. Angelo said. “I don't know any other job that was open in the WPIAL, but I wasn't interested in any other school, even though Serra isn't in the best of situations right now.”
That's an understatement.
Serra went 0-9 and was outscored by more than 40 points per game. At the end of the season, the Eagles barely had enough players to field a team. Serra has lost 11 consecutive games and won only 18 since losing to Steelton-Highspire in the 2007 Class A state championship game.
“The first thing you have to do is to get the kids to want to come out and play football,” Cleary said. “I still believe that we have good athletes in the school that can play football. We need those kids to come out. That's job No. 1 and then put in the foundation and organization of what he wants to accomplish.”
A South Allegheny graduate, St. Angelo, 35, started his coaching career at Duquesne in 2002 under Pat Monroe. He then had stints following LeDonne to South Allegheny, Clairton and McKeesport before taking charge of EF's offense the past two years.
St. Angelo said his style of coaching is similar to LeDonne's.
“The discipline and the commitment he gets from the kids is what I want,” St. Angelo said. “Every kid he has been around, he's gotten everything he could out of that kid. I play close attention to detail and that's what he did.”
St. Angelo feels Serra can be a winner again.
“I see a lot of athletes at Serra,” St. Angelo said. “They had a short roster, but they were all sophomores. You have all sophomores coming back, and it isn't a bad situation.”
St. Angelo said his spread option offense will help get kids more interested in coming out for the team.
“When Rich Bowen was there, they were a success from the time he got there until the time he left,” St. Angelo said. “Me being a young guy and running a no-huddle, spread offense, maybe I can get some of the athletes out who want to do that. I saw a basketball game, and none of those kids play football. We are hoping to work with the coaches to change that.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
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.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Pittsburgh woman’s death at Drexel probed as possible meningitis
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh
- Stage volunteer dies following collapse at Pine-Richland High School
- Top pitching prospect Taillon’s time with Pirates must wait a bit
- Penguins notebook: Heralded Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov debuts with Capitals
- Gas tax could factor into Pennsylvania gubernatorial race
- Profit falls at American Eagle Outfitters on sales decline, charges