Riverview coach Massack steps down
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Just after the conclusion of Riverview's football season, coach Todd Massack made the choice to prioritize his program's future over his pride.
After seven seasons in charge, Massack handed in his letter of resignation. The Riverview school board accepted it Monday night.
Massack, a 1984 Riverview graduate and the fourth coach in team history, had 20-46 career record with the Raiders.
“It was a very tough decision because I love Riverview football, and I love football overall,” said Massack, who coached Fox Chapel from 2001-04 and then served as defensive coordinator at Riverview for two seasons before succeeding Joe Rossi in 2007. “I'm not done coaching football, but I feel the program needs to go in a new direction and new leadership.”
This year, Riverview finished 1-8, its worst record under Massack. The Raiders had their best season under Massack in 2010 when they finished 6-4.
“The program is my responsibility, and unfortunately, programs are evaluated on wins and losses and not on how you help players become young men and leaders,” Massack said. “Based on wins and losses, I felt like the program needed new leadership. We weren't going in the right direction, and as the leader, I had to fall on the sword.”
Appreciative of Massack's ability to help players become better individuals, athletic director Bob Kariotis tried to convince the coach to reconsider when Massack first turned in his resignation letter a few days after a Week 9 loss to Springdale.
“It wasn't a pleasant thing for me, and I am very sorry to see him go,” Kariotis said. “It just took a toll on him.
“I told Todd this: If I had a son playing, Todd is who I'd want coaching him. Every boy that played for Todd went away a better man and better person. Todd was always willing to go the extra mile. Unfortunately, he couldn't go on the field and play the game.”
Massack identified Riverview's 24-23 win over Rochester in 2007 as his favorite game memory — Rochester was a WPIAL finalist in 2006 and reached the quarterfinals in 2007.
But what Massack valued most were the bonds he developed with Riverview's players, assistants and former coaches, some of whom doubled as family members. He steered a program that his grandfather, Elmer Gross, helped establish — Gross coached Oakmont, one of Riverview's precursor schools, from 1948-60. He also supervised the career of one son, Nick, a 2012 graduate, and he shared three seasons with another, Jacob, who is a junior. Massack has another son currently in seventh grade.
“For selfish reasons, I could've stuck around and been the head coach for another year,” he said. “But I wanted what's best for the program.”
Kariotis said he hopes to find a replacement who matches Massack's passion for educating and maturing players. A program turnaround, though desired, cannot come at the expense of poor coaching character.
“You can't judge a coach by his wins and losses sometimes,” Kariotis said. “You have to look at the big picture.”
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.
- We’ll have your ‘GamePlan’ for the 2015 season
- Southmoreland’s Francis hopes to seize opportunity at running back
- Senior guard paves way for Woodland Hills’ elite running game
- Bishop Canevin football looking to make push to the postseason
- Southmoreland to open football season at Charleroi
- Class AA breakdown: Dynamic offense to again lead 2-time PIAA champion South Fayette
- After standout junior season, Frazier’s Patterson looking for bigger, better things
- Carlynton football motivated by season of attrition
- Merger sparks position battles at Armstrong
- Graduation losses force Blairsville to ‘start over’
- Victory sparks optimism for Serra Catholic coach