West Greene hunting for football coach

March 29, 2013
John Coss

Football victories have been pretty rare at West Greene High School.

That’s what made last season so satisfying for the Pioneers. They won their season-opener, 22-21, over Bentworth for only their second win in the past 37 games. A three-game winning streak near the end of the season was part of a 4-5 record.

Now, West Greene is looking for a new coach after John Coss’ resignation was accepted at Thursday night’s school board meeting. It was Coss’ second stint at West Greene. He coached the Pioneers in the 2000 and 2001 seasons, and again over the past three years. His overall record is 12-35.

“John did a real good job,” said Bill Simms, West Greene’s athletic director. “He won four games, and we have the core of that group coming back. He was a progressive. He changed our offense; he changed our defense. He adapted with the times. I really hate to see him go.”

Coss did not return phone messages Thursday and Friday seeking comment.

Simms said the board will consider any and all candidates and does not have a preconceived notion of who to hire.

“One of our biggest questions is continuity,” Simms said. “We had John for what would have been the fourth of what we thought would be a five-year deal next season. We’d like to see someone stay around for that time. We have a youth program that had a couple of undefeated seasons. You can see the continuity.”

West Greene benefitted by the WPIAL realignment, which moved California and Monessen out of the Tri-County South Conference and into the Black Hills. That alignment will be in place for at least one more season.

West Greene has one of the smaller enrollments in the state and is one of the largest school districts, so logistics can be a problem in a number of ways.

Simms said he would like to see more participation in offseason workouts and conditioning.

“We never met our goal of getting kids in the lifting program,” he said. “I wouldn’t pin any of that on John or his coaching staff. John dedicated every day in the summer and sometimes two times a day to be there for kids. He even staggered the staff to do that. … We thought we did as much as we could to promote (football to the students). We thought we would have better numbers than we did.”

West Greene had only four seniors last season, and there is optimism the youth and middle school have talented players. The 4-5 record was the best since the 2003 season.

“We feel like we are headed in the right direction,” Simms said.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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