Derry hires Sweeney to helm football team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Derry's search for a new football coach is officially over after the district's school board approved hiring Tim Sweeney to the position at its meeting Thursday night.
Sweeney replaces Al Gaiardo, who resigned in November citing personal reasons. The Trojans went 3-25 over Gaiardo's three seasons.
Sweeney was one of three finalists for the job selected from roughly 30 applicants, according to Derry athletic director Brett Miller.
“One of the things that stuck out to every committee member, and there were several committee members, was his answer to one question in particular,” Miller said. “That was why he wanted to coach at Derry. As many people know, especially in the Derry community, the head football coaching job has been a revolving door for the last 10 to 15 years. There hasn't been any consistency or sustainability with that position. Tim's answer to the question was he wants to coach at Derry because there's nowhere else he wants to coach. He has no interest in coaching anywhere else.”
After the board meeting, Miller, Sweeney and board president David Krinock met with a group of Derry football players to formally introduce the new coach.
“I overheard a conversation he had with the players and he explained to them how much he loves Derry, how much he loves the school, loves the football program and loves the kids in this district,” Miller said. “You don't get those qualities sometimes in a football coach who is so passionate about a district and a football program, and he really is.”
Sweeney was a multi-sport standout at Derry and a member of the school's lone Keystone Conference championship team. He went on to play linebacker and special teams at Penn State between 1985 and 1988 and had been an assistant coach at Derry from 2006 until 2009 under Ron Polinsky.
“For me, I'm a product of Derry, I'm proud of Derry,” Sweeney said. “There's two things — outside of my family and those types of things — there's two things that I associate myself with equal amounts of pride: That's being a product of Derry athletics and also being a Penn State football player.”
A member of the Nittany Lions' 1986 national championship team, Sweeney will inherit a Trojans team that went winless in 2013 and has won a total of just 18 games over the last 10 seasons.
“We're not looking at the recent past, we're not looking at the glory days,” Sweeney said. “We're looking at 2014 as a clean slate in getting this thing moving forward.”
Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- High school notebook: WPIAL adjusts to accommodate Armstrong merger
- Archbishop Wood runs past Central Valley in PIAA Class AAA final
- Pine-Richland falls short in PIAA Class AAAA final
- Gorman: South Fayette has a ‘No Fly’ zone
- Gorman: Central Valley’s life after death
- Gorman: Gastion goes deep for Pine-Richland
- Pine-Richland has new look for defending champ St. Joseph’s Prep
- Clairton falls short vs. Bishop Guilfoyle in PIAA Class A title game
- High school notebook: Records tumble during PIAA football title games