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After successful coaching careers, Salisbury, Dalton receive hall-of-fame honors

| Thursday, June 12, 2014, 1:01 a.m.

Tom “Woody” Salisbury and Ed Dalton are two men who have had successful coaching careers on the high school gridiron, and both will be inducted into the Tri-County Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Salisbury and Dalton will be recognized during halftime of the BeeGraphix All-Star Football Classic, which will take place at 7 p.m. at McGuffey High School.

Salisbury spent much of his career at Frazier High School, while Dalton coached at Mt. Pleasant for a pair of seasons in the early 1990s. Both are thrilled to have earned this particular honor, especially considering that the inductees are nominated by the coaches within the Tri-County Football Coaches Association.

“It means a lot when you are inducted by your peers,” Salisbury said. “These are people that I coached against and people who know football.”

Salisbury coached football for 37 years, including 19 years as coach at Frazier. He also served as an assistant coach at Frazier, Belle Vernon and Hempfield. He has coached in every classification at the high school level and has 130 career wins. Salisbury was the head coach at Frazier from 1977 to 1995. In that time, he guided the Commodores to six playoff appearances and helped Frazier win conference titles in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1993.

Salisbury's Commodores finished as the WPIAL Class A runners-up in 1983, and as an assistant coach with Belle Vernon, he helped the Leopards finish as WPIAL Class AAA runners-up in 1999.

Salisbury noted that he is most proud of the fact that the Commodores remained competitive in the mid-1980s despite being bumped up from Class A to Class AA.

“Everybody thought our program would fold,” Salisbury said. “But I challenged the kids and we competed and we won a conference championship (1993), so I'm pretty proud of that.”

Salisbury last coached four years ago, serving as an assistant coach at Frazier under Lew Sweitzer. He's excited for the events on Saturday, which will feature four Frazier graduates (Charles Manack, Daniel Leonard, Joe Hela and Zachary Mastowski) playing in the BeeGraphix All-Star Football Classic.

“If you don't have athletes, you're not getting into any hall of fame,” Salisbury said. “I was fortunate to have very good assistant coaches and very good players.”

While Salisbury is no longer walking the sidelines on Friday nights in the fall, Dalton is still very much in the game.

Dalton has coached for 32 years, and is the current head coach at McGuffey. Prior to becoming the coach for the Highlanders, Dalton worked as the head coach at Purchase Line, Altoona, Trinity and Mt. Pleasant. Dalton has coached 18 playoff teams and has won eight conference titles and four district championships.

Dalton's time at Mt. Pleasant was short, but productive. He coached, the Vikings during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, leading Mt. Pleasant to the WPIAL playoffs both year. In 1993, the Vikings went undefeated in the regular season and won a conference title before losing in the WPIAL semifinals.

Dalton, like Salisbury, is humbled to receive the hall of fame honor.

“I think what makes it emotional is that you are voted on by other coaches,” Dalton said. “That makes it so special.”

Dalton also pointed out that his induction would not have been possible without the hard work of others.

“I had the opportunity to work with a lot of great players and a lot of great coaches,” Dalton said.

In addition to Salisbury and Dalton, other coaches who will be inducted include Jim Dumm (former head coach at Elizabeth Forward), Jim Egnott (assistant coach at Bethel Park), Russ Moore (head coach at Waynesburg High School) and Rick Pavlisko (assistant coach at Peters Township).

Gates for the game open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

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