Kugler clan has Super season
It was a thrill for Rob and Patrick Kugler to win a PIAA football title in their first season with North Allegheny. And it was made even better because their father, Sean, the Steelers' first-year offensive line coach, was there for every game.
Now, the whole Kugler clan is taking the ultimate road trip to Dallas for Super Bowl XLV.
"We've never gone to an away game in our life," said Patrick, a sophomore right tackle, "so it's going to be great to be at the new Cowboys Stadium."
The trek to Texas is just another part of what has been an outstanding football season for the Kuglers. Rob, a senior tight end/defensive end, and Patrick were key pieces in North Allegheny's 15-1 season, which yielded the second WPIAL and PIAA championships in school history. It was the second state title in as many seasons for the brothers, who started for Orchard Park when it won the New York Class AA state title in 2009, when their father was with the Buffalo Bills.
As exciting as high school success is for the Kuglers, it doesn't compare to the Super Bowl.
"Coming off of that state championship win was great," said Rob, a Purdue recruit. "But this is something my dad has been building to his whole career."
Before landing in Pittsburgh, Kugler made NFL stops in Buffalo and Detroit — franchises that haven't sniffed the playoffs in years. This season posed challenges, too: Major injuries to starters Max Starks, Willie Colon and now Maurkice Pouncey have been among the biggest issues the Steelers have faced.
Still, the line has held long enough to get the Steelers to the cusp of their seventh Super Bowl title.
"He's a little stressed," Rob said, "but he's excited, too."
Kugler relieved some of that by taking in his sons' championship season. He even was present for North Allegheny's WPIAL and PIAA championship games — both played the night before Steelers games.
For the WPIAL final, Kugler was given permission to stay behind while the Steelers traveled to Buffalo. He drove up immediately after North Allegheny's 21-14 victory over Woodland Hills.
After the Tigers' 21-0 win over La Salle College on Dec. 18 in the state final, he made the late-night drive from Hershey to Pittsburgh — but not before imparting some words of wisdom.
"He was really proud of us," Patrick said, "And he said it's one of the greatest feelings you'll get, but you can always win more. I've got a chance to win two more state titles, and my brother can win a Big Ten championship."
And for the first time in the pros, their father has a shot at a title, too.
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.
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Steelers notebook: Defense tasked with stopping Graham
- Steelers realize that Brees-led Saints are always dangerous
- Steelers notebook: Linebackers on the spot against Saints offense
- Polamalu, Taylor among Steelers starters returning for Sunday’s game vs. Saints
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role
- Play of nose tackles could have impact on Steelers’ stretch run
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle