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High school notebook: Seton-La Salle football coach Perry resigns

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 4:51 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For the Tribune-Review
Seton-La Salle coach Greg Perry leads the team during practice Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, at Seton-La Salle.

Greg Perry resigned as Seton-La Salle's football coach Monday after 20 years on the staff, including the past nine as head coach.

“I appreciate the opportunity,” said Perry, who was 75-24 as a head coach. “We had a lot of great times, played great football and made great memories, but sometimes you have to move on.”

Perry, 52, served as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for his first 11 years with the Rebels. He helped the program to three Century Conference championships, WPIAL titles in 2002 and ‘04 and trips to the WPIAL quarterfinals the past four seasons. He coached four all-state quarterbacks and wide receivers, two all-state lineman, as well as an all-state tight end and defensive back.

Among them were QB Bill Stull, who was the first in WPIAL history to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season; Bruce Gradkowski, who held a 10-game record for passing yards (2,978); and Carmen Connelly, who holds the WPIAL single-season record for receptions (116).

Seton-La Salle went 8-3 this season and lost to eventual WPIAL and PIAA champion South Fayette in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals.

Other coaching vacancies

Butler decided to replace Clyde Conti, leaving the school to search for its sixth head coach since 2000. Conti's teams were 7-21 in three years and reached the playoffs in 2012.

“They treated me well in Butler, and now they've decided to go in a different direction,” said Conti, who also was head coach at Clarion-Limestone and Slippery Rock high schools during his 41-year career. “I'll have to decide whether I want to assist someone in the fall or try to do something different.”

Butler finished seventh this season in the eight-team Quad North. Despite the third-largest WPIAL enrollment, the team has not had a winning football season since 1997.

“I felt good about our experience and certainly about our kids,” Conti said. “Everybody wants champions, and I've been a part of a number of those, but there's something really special to stand among kids who are giving their best — they can't match up, but they're still going out there and competing.”

Only one coach has left Butler with a winning record since Art Bernardi, who 180-63-7 from 1961-85. That list includes Jim Rankin (0-9 in 2009), Jeff McAnallen (3-24 in 2007-09), Gary Cathell (16-33 in 2002-06), Mark Farabee (24-34 in 1996-01), Sam Albert (6-14 in 1994-95), Bill Bohren (6-5 in 1993) and Tim Nunes (46-27-3 in 1986-92).

Ambridge will replace football coach Neil Tkatch, whose team went 2-7 this season, said athletic director Shawn Besong. The Bridgers, who finished seventh in the nine-team Class AAA Parkway Conference, were 11-35 in five seasons under Tkatch.

Former WPIAL member McDowell, which plays in District 10, also is without a coach after Mark Soboleski resigned over the weekend.

Other open positions include Belle Vernon, Derry, Gateway, Keystone Oaks, Latrobe and Riverview.

Carter switches verbal

Indiana defensive end Darrious Carter switched his college commitment to Virginia. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior had made a verbal commitment to Temple in July before receiving a scholarship offer from the Cavaliers.

“It's bigger football, and it felt more close to home,” he said.

More recruiting

Neshannock senior Steven Jeffries, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound tight end/defensive tackle, made a verbal commitment to Youngstown State. He was a first-team Big Seven Conference selection this season for the semifinalist Lancers after making 16 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

Chris Harlan and Kevin Gorman are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Reach Harlan at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib. Reach Gorman at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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