Rosol returns to coach at alma mater Seton-La Salle
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For Damon Rosol, being named head football coach at Seton-La Salle — his alma mater — has brought the once all-conference player full-circle in a way he hadn't imagined.
“When I was in high school I would have never of thought that I wanted to be a coach,” Rosol said. “I had a little bit of an unconventional path.”
As a walk-on offensive lineman at Pitt in the mid-90s, Rosol would work out at Seton-La Salle during the summer when current Montour coach Lou Cerro was the Rebels' head man.
“Cerro said to me, ‘If things don't work out with playing this year, I have some spots available. I'm looking for some young coaches,'” Rosol said. “He said, ‘I think you'll be good with it. You seem to be working well with the kids now.'”
Cerro and Rosol's relationship started when Rosol was a player and Cerro was his position coach, and one instance prior to Rosol's senior year sticks out for Cerro to this day.
“We spent a lot of time together in the summer since I was coaching the O-line. He was thinking about quitting,” Cerro said. “I went down to talk to him. We had a heart to heart, and we've been together ever since. It could have went in a different direction. He stuck it out and had a great senior year.
“He didn't give up a sack his senior year as an offensive lineman, and made all-conference.”
After starting as a scout in 1998, Rosol has been part of Cerro's staff for 17 years at both Seton-La Salle and Montour.
Rosol experienced success as an offensive coordinator at Montour, and witnessed first-hand how to build a successful program.
As an offensive assistant at Seton-La Salle under Cerro, Rosol worked closely with offensive genius Greg Perry — who resigned as Seton's head coach after nine years and has since been named head coach at Keystone Oaks — and helped the Rebels win WPIAL titles in 2002 and 2004.
When Cerro was offered the Montour job before the 2005 season, he decided to hand the offensive reigns to Rosol.
“When we came to Montour all he needed was a chance,” Cerro said. “He got it, and ran with it. Failure wasn't an option for him.”
Taking over a program on the decline when they arrived, Cerro and Rosol guided the Spartans to three WPIAL Class AAA finals appearances, and won a WPIAL championship in 2011.
“We went there and inherited a program that obviously had a lot of struggles and from the first day we broke (the huddle) on ‘Triple A champs,'” Rosol said. “The kids were kind of looking at us like, ‘OK, that's kind of crazy.' It's that attitude. No team rises to low expectations.”
It's that type of message Rosol plans to get across the first time he meets with his Rebels' squad.
“At Seton-La Salle we want to win the state championship,” Rosol said. “The kids got to know we're raising the bar. It's not going to be easy. We got to get to work ASAP. That's always going to be our goal at Seton-La Salle.”
Key offensive players such as quarterback Tyler Perone and wide receiver Danzel McKinley-Lewis will return to a team that went 8-3 overall last season in the always competitive Century Conference.
“The expectations are going to be out there,” Rosol said. “It's not a rebuilding program it's a reloading program.”
Justin Criado is a freelance writer.
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.
- Carlynton names Yoder interim football coach
- Statewide high school football notebook: Clairton’s scoring gaining attention across Pa.
- HS highlight reel: Plum suspends soccer coach for season
- Through the years: Vikings rolled in hurricane-delayed game
- Alle-Kiski Valley HSFB notebook: Petrishen makes stop in Alle-Kiski Valley
- Schoolboy pick of the week: BVA
- Previewing some of Week 4’s top matchups
- Daily News roundup: West Mifflin stays unbeaten
- Kittanning’s explosive offense to face stiff challenge from stingy Highlands defenders
- The Leader: Tour of Armstrong County sports leaves longing for football
- Undefeated Seton-La Salle, Steel Valley meet with Century lead at stake