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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Eric Kasperowicz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The head coach of Pine-Richland football, Eric Kasperowicz, joins the huddle as we talk; playing with Lavar Arrington, the influence of coach pappy, and Eric's mindset for coaching high school players. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

I am former NFL quarterback Guspera. Iplayed quarterback fifteen years in the NFL. This is my show called Huddl upwith Guss each week I team up with my longtime friend Dave Hager, and wetalked with guests about how sports shape their lives pro athletes,business, executives, community leaders, everyone has a story to tell aboutsport. We invite you to huddle up with gus this week in the huddle during hissenior season in northhills high school, this wipiol legend managed to lead histeam to the state championship and earn the coveet honor of player of the year.Although scholarship offers becking from nearand far this hometown, herochose to represent the city. He loves by seeing right here in the bird andplaying for Pitt. After finishing his college career at pit, thiscompetitives natural born leader didn't have to go far to fine success in twothousand and seventeen. He delivered a State Championship as head coach of thePine Richeland Rams. Please welcome into the hottle Eric Kasparovich right now we're going to get in thehuddle with my partner Dave here, and we got agreat guest on Dave. Want you introduce our guest today because I think youtell the story the best well we're going to get into his high schoolexploints, which I still I talked to guss about him. This might sound weird,but we actually had a long discussion. The bottom Ofer some beers the otherday, but I've known Eric now, for maybe eight or nine years he and my brotherinlaw coached,together at Pirat from Football Erics, had tremendous success as a coach atplan. Richlan we're going to hear today. You know his roots where he started howhe began with sports and were t's taking them now. So in a hodle with us,today's Erik Kasparovitch Whippie Hall Famer, I he coachou primerichland. So thanks for Joiing US t yeah thanks for rapving me on it's apleasure to be here. You know awesome city of Pittsburgh and,like you said just kind of you know, hat we're all about here I mean I think,Pittsburgh special place it. You always hear people, you know frontPittzsburgen up coming back and you know I never left. I born and raisedgrew up in Pittsburgh. I went to pit had some opportunitys to leave andultimately you know stayed here so I've been here all my life and ecided totalk about it. You got a little better Pittsburgh accent than Dav than I think.So I have more of an Arizona accent, Sis Arizona, even Havan Aa, it's all.It's transienting Neheri one of the things we always like to ask and startwith. I is what was that influence early for you for sports? Was Yourfather, your brother and idol? You had that you used to watch all the time,yeah. Definitely my family, my father, you know at a young age and still justsome good values and not just myself. My brother and my sister, you know werealways outside and he was an athlete in high school, so it was always totcatching ball and you know we're out in the yard or heck when we moved this way.We actually grew up in Avalon Belviee, Avalong N. I the estate school district,when I was in sixth grade, moved to the North Hild school district and justalways instill in kind of those vies and getting outside and playing, and Ithink that's something a lot of these kids nowadays lose. You know it's sostructured and so overcoached, and you know overtaught that these kids justdon't go out and play anymore, and I know some people say it, but I I reallyreally push out on my kids Nowday, not just my own personal kids, but even myplayers there's times where wel go out to practice and we'll get into this alittle bit. But you know just go play, go just go pick up your game yourselfand figure things out solve problems on your own, and so getting back to myoriginal point, my father and my you know my mother. I really just erge justto get outside and be active and develop the love with sport. Growing up,I'm going to you know being a Pittsburgh city of champions. You knowso going to the pirate games and steeler games and Panguin Games, andjust kind of you know, grew up through high school that way and then being inan awesome, high school as North Hills. You know back in the s. They were oneof the top programs in the country, yeah mythical. There was no Wen it allback Theyeah, but they did what they could back, that it was based onreputation and number of kids going to college and yeah, so they won the mythical USATDANational Championshi, one thousand nine hundred and eighty even and I was aripe- you know, sixth grader at the time, looking up to those guys, theywere like my idols and o I'm going to do that one day, yeah, that's kind ofwhere it all started. Like one of my college, I was Gointa, ask he stillsign. I remember that eighty seven Yep yeah, so that's still up when you entera couple different areas where you ener Ross and West? U and it's still thereand actually n. When I played, we won the state, they actually put a littleadition on the bottom of that, but yeah it's a cool cool thing to have in asmall little. You know you talk about these big districts now out of east andacross the country, just a small little. You know, area of Westeaar northills tohave the success that they had back in the day was pretty special. One of mycollege roommates and guys I play with Marlasse, was on the Tus of Sophomore.Okay Ne Graduated High School Anei Yeah. He was on that team, so I don't knowhow much he played or or whatever, but...

...he was alignmand he played with me atTulsa, so we always caught him. The heat miser, so I don't know W, but helooked like I for a wrestler Fi, remember: Yei, think he rite, O Heehewas agrea. He was a roomate of mine for quite a few years. So you know one ofthe things you talked about was going out and playing like kids. Don't dothat today you don't see kids, just pounding a basketball courts or in someempty field. Did you do that? Who was like your competitor that you you knowmy older brother? I have an nol brother two years above me that you know I justconstantly lost to all my life at everything whether it was checkers orhorse in the backyard or pick up football. And then you know I justwanted to beat him and just wanted to beat him and ever anything we did andwe always competed I as it was good. I still my best friend of this day andyou know just kind of fallon his lead and eventually, as I grew up, I wasable to beat thim in some things and and then just you know the core groupof friends when we got to school and hanging out and just being active andgeting out and doing doing things on our own and, like I said, I think thebig thing is we figured out things on our own. You know I everythings sostructured and and so coached. You know you got to go to this personal trainerto do this for three times a week, for you know an hour, and I guess there's aplace for all that you know. Maybe, when you get older but as a kid as ahigh school kid and definitely a middle school age, kid you need to go out andfigure it out yourself. You know what you're good at what pushes your buttons?How you can you know, push yourself in different ways: right, wat, een makingdo with what is available in terms of fields and stuff. We were talking to aguess before about creating wifeball fields and stuff. ILo I was telling them. I still look for wiffeball fields, I'm driving, I'm Gon.You know what that man Goo with Hem on. I don't know what kids play whisflballanymore. You know I mean I never see it me. Hom Run dermy, take the WHISPP onHethe fiel and crank it over the fencelike Ni, sed hedgnea, we sweet yea.Exactly so, how much you think it like all the different sports that youplayed when you were kin, helped you when Youre got older El? I think thatmultiple sports help kids tremendously, and I had my parent meeting the othernight with with up at Pine Reshlin with my parents and I'm a big proponent ofmultiple sport athletes. You know I want guys that obviously Aur e boughtinto football, but I want guys that are active in other sports they're coachedby other people right they're often times you're bet that best athletesbecause they can different different movement patterns. Different ranges ofmotion heck they'd, be tired of me, after being with me all year anyway,right and then you go into the whole injury aspect with over use of. If I'mthrowing a baseball twelve months out of the year, my shoulderis not going tolast very long. So it's good to get a break from that and then go to footballand then and then go to basketball or whatever your sports are maybewrestling. Maybe Le Crosse is huge now, but just being active being withdifferent. You know friend, groups being coached by different peopleworking different muscle groups, training different muscles. I thinkthat's all so important and when I was a kidding I did them all. I wanted toplay every sport that I could actually going into my high schoolcareer. My goal was to be a twelve year or a twelve letterman twelve letterwinner, so as a freshman lettering in four sports throughout your high schoolcareer right. So that was my Goa. I end up tearing my acl pretty early on as afreshman, and so I didn't happen. I couldn't do everything I wanted to door I was urged not to do all the sports. Tear is full terr wow and you came backfor that. Yep Yep actually tort twice in College. I did it Iwit Sports, sofootball I was a big wrestler growing up, so I did football in the fall of myfreshman year, I was moved up to the Varsley starting for the Varsity teamtore my acl. I was going to plan to restl that year I was a state champwrestler, as a sixth grader and the junior Olympics baseball, and then I was going to trackand do track and field, because I again looking up to some of the older guys acouple: the better athletes, the bender twins, who was a big name e one playedat Georgia, tech and the other North Carolina State. Remember them so theone was a big baseball player and I saw that they let him run track as well.Even though Thire's the same season he'd compete, ing the invitationals andwhatnot, so that was kind of my goal when I was going to plan to do it as afreshman after I tore myco. Obviously it all kind of went down the hill, butI came back and still ran track and played football, but back then this asD, nine teen, ninety one thousand nine hundred andninety- so they didn't know if you could even make it back from an acl andTherwas, especially around here yeah. So Iwas advise you know football. Isyou think that you think stay with that and I came back to run track after thefact, but so when you were young, did your dad coach you or did you haveother coach Yeah Throughout you sports? My Dad was my baseball coach coach meand you and youth football up until you got to the school age, stuff, yeah e asthere all the time- and you know he did it the right way and there's things youknow good things he did with me and there's some things that you know alongthe way I learned at as a parent now and as a father of three kids that youknow I do a little bit differently with my kids, but I wouldn't be the man I amtoday without you know his leadership and how he was able to coach me, andthere are times that you know Il remember forever. Well, I see him onyour sidelines now, Al Right, yeah, it's awesome lucky to have them on mysideline. That's been, I think, since two thousand and thirteen he's beenwith me and he's they, they call him coach, pappy and hes he's like if I'mthe God, the guy that's getting on the kid they go to coach, pappy and he'lllove hem up and he feeds heme chocolate,...

...milk and pat up out ond jellysandwiches and that's great they nee extra sticker. He Migh Give Hem anextra helmet sticker or something but he's like thahe's, like everybody'sPappy, on the team yeah. So you know my dad was when I was in senior littleleague. I was thirteen years old. I was pitching at my dad and my grandfatherwere my coaches. That's the first pitch was a ball. I walked the first batterin four pitchers. They stood up in a dogout reellin right. The next batter Iwalked. They moved out halfway between the dugout and the firt baseline, thenext batter. I walked three guys in a row. They were on the sideline yellingat me. I walked the fourth batter in Tmy, run, scores and they were livinglike they were real guy work for people yeahat's right, and so after that I couldn't take it.Anywmere hes kept yelling and screaming. I put my glove down and I only livedlike a half mile and I walked out the gate and walked home. My Dad didn'ttalk to me for two weeks, so it seems like Your Dad Approachd you a littlebit differently than my dad and that Wa an Theydi, that's what they knew right,I mean didn't, know any better and they love carried on wholay through the NFLright. I call him up and he go. Why ow? Would you throw that that guy, likewhat Meyou thinking Alyeah but Dadi, thre, four touchshells? We wont I don'tnow. You know what I mean: That's how he was just on know. We were. We werebeating the team. This is two thousand and fourteen the year we went to thestate finals and lost. We were beaten, Senica Valley, that year at half it wasfifty nine, fifty nine to nothing or fifty nine, seven and half so sureenough. We go up at half time and started you'R off. Take Your shourterfads off Youre done we're putting Jav in right, dat'lik, not a good idea.They were a good team. They were going Ke, three ind, a whip, Po ut the timewhen we just smoked them. We county came out of nowhere and sure enough. Wego back out, they havd their starters in first three times they scored orthey got the ball score score score before you noticed fifty nine twentyone, fifteen twenty eight yeah, it's a running clock there's like maybea minute left in the third quarter, because we got the ball and we got ouryoung kids in three plays Pont three plut and eventually time theyse Brinnout of time. I think they might have made it fifty nine to thirty five, butI'm like just relaxits. I don't care if we wund by one point. I Wan't have myguys healthy, but I still get some yeah, I'm sure I s creat. I criticisany sideline of games. I would play the NFL. I don't think I would have playedvery long. You've had a lot of influence in your life by your familyand it's so important, and you know some some of us have great family someof us. You know people don't have great families, but we all persevere throughthose things and we all learn and how to deal with those differenttransitions and your storys great, and it probably made you who you are today,oh for sure- and you know great coaches along the way as well, and once I gotto high school coach Jack McCurry who's. You know one of the best in the wholecountry. If not, you know the bastes on hall, fame,State Hall of fame, Whiph Your Hall of fame, obviously, and learn a lot ofvalues and lessons from him as well. He gave me a lot of opportunity. I wasable to coach under him for a number of years, so you know agaiin another very valuableperson. Tokinyeah heard Jack didn't like to be on TV too much or dointerviews. Oh really, I didn't know that TV as much, maybe because I wasn'tpaying attention but yeah. He wasn't very good with the media in general. Asfar as interviews, I don't know hewas very, very, very he's old school, veryold school, very confident in what he did if anybody question anything Hon'like it, but who can argue Ita Time of success, treating me the right way. Youknow again, you know, I think the best best thing I culd do as a coach as aneducator as a father's. I try to d take the best things I can from whoever I Isee doing things and en kind of making my own, and I took a number of thingsfor him that I do today still not a lot of parent conferences with the CooktJack. No, they knew better that I don't think in his thirty some years ofcoaching. He had many parent conferences, theyt even try to approachthem. Yeah Annie's Dad my wife' Dad HarryCoach for a long time in Catani and shor coach Jardo. You know, and some ofhis stories are just absolutely classic and you know and how he approached itand and what so going off that what offensid you Realm Ith Jack? What wereyou guys doing? So we were very ahead of the Times. You know we were talkedabout the championship, the Jack One on one thousand, nine hundre and ightyseven. When I was a young kid, they were the wish bone. Three running backs.Two tight ends pounded through it. I think twenty times and fifteen gamesright sure enough transition. Three years later I get in there as a truefreshman, we kind of phased out of that. But by the time I was a junior senior,we were a spread offence, weare eleven personnel, three receivers, one tightend, one running back, so pretty spread when you're talking about football backin the early s we threw it. You know around a ton. I think at the time I wasthe leading passor in the Whipel, which sends now twenty sme twenty five yearslater. I think I'm like seventeen on the list. Yeah it just keep goingYeahpo one at one time. Yeah next year, Sombod Passeh, but we were very, veryvery you- know wide open at the time you know agetting spread of mine. I was,I ran for a lot of you. A lot of yards...

...had the Labar Ang. Ten Wo was a greatNFL Guy, Great College Guy Yeah. I had him in the backfield so to be able tohave that punch, and we had a lot of guys upfront that were really goodplayers, e averagely, double digits per cary or something din. It was like yeahit as like ten yard, Yep yeah, and he was AA freshman wow, but yeah we were very, you know wide open as an offense, whichkind of gave teams threat or Kav defenses. Some fits because they inknow is again it S. early s are going Ta lite up and cover three maybe playman. Deman and Jack was ahead of the time and knew how to beat those, and wehad a couple past concepts. We ran that just Ihad a receiver back then it ateighy some catches. I think sixty two of those were on the same exact playright because nobody could cover because they any ran certain defansesback there. They didn't know, like Harry, only ran wink Te, grandaDelaware, O te in high school and like he never like. We threw it a little bitlike Mon High School Career. Through I forty three times I get to college afirst college game. I playi t pobay throug THRN A it's like why, but thoseold school guys in it. It's a testamatere coach that saw that that ifI change Alo that we might be able to beat these defenses yeah ot of thoseold school coaches did ever want to change no and then, and they end upgetting kind of passed by, you know if they don't, because I think that'sprobably the best thing that we do at Pine Rish and we try to say cunningedges as we can. I think we're very cutting IG trying to stay one stepahead of everybody else. You know we went to when I got there. I knew wecouldn't beat central Catholic in North Allegany, just because we didn't havethose monster. Kids, you know we're a very small six, a school, so we had tofind our niche and our nite was just a bunch of good looking high school kids,you know five foot eleven hundred and seventy pounds. So if we couldn't lineup and just run run the ball on these guys, we could beat everybody exceptfor the big dogs right. So our nit was to spread them out and and use ourskill a little bit, and I knew we weren't going to get many big time, bigtime level, kids and that's kind of been our recipe for success. And thenyou know every once in a while, you have a fildre cover. Come along can bea really special year. You might have the best uniforms in the wifield to Iappreciate that yeah uniform yeah we like Hem, you know, try to you, got tobe smart with kids. Nowadays, you got ta got to have the gear and a swag, andyou got to have that for the kids ts, a doubtit's all about instagram, twitterand social media, no down, you know they're, not putting on n ugly, uniform,Onon Social Media Ow. So you had a lot of success in high school. You know and you had to go through alote. You know you talked about being a multisport athlete, have an injuries todeal with, and so those transitions are very tough. A A lot of people don'tcome back from those transitions. What drove you to be the best yeah, the Ithink the big the first one was was a freshman in high school acl tarred,never knew. You know I was getting tackled, but in nothing D with my kneeit just kind of tweeked the wrong way and never knew. If I'd play again, youknow, so I just knew one thing as work work, my butt off and try to get back.I came back and I was wasn't the same. Speed never quite had that what I hadbefore, but just kind of persevered. I you know great support from family andfriends and eventually made it back and you know had a good high school career,but that was it was trying. You know to be able to kind of go through that, andyou know again just that uncertainty, but I think again that kind of made mewhat I am today and taught me a lot of values of you know just life in general.That's what the great thing about sports is right and you know it putsyou in these situations that you know. If you don't play sports, younecessarily D n't, don't do an you, don't go through and you don't know howto get out of them. You know and set you up for life. You still get askedabout the State Championship, game, yeah, quite optenthat's, one of theclassic Finales Yeah. Quite often, you know incredible memoriys from that. Iremember every play to th to the second. You could ask me anything about it andstill remember and got great relationships, great friends and wegreat team. You know a lot of just really good bond with those guys. Imean you K W we talked about we weren't going to we weren't going to drinkalcohol. I mean that was a big thing. You know, especially with kids.Nowadays you we tell Hem to make good choices and hey you shouldn't. Youcan't be a top level athlete and chewing tobacker drinking alcohol asgoing to that senior year, and we were kids. We made a pack to each other thatnobody was going to do that and when we didn't do that that hold that wholeseason. That was just one example, though ofhow we kind of were so close, and it showed on the field. To me. I've alwayssaid this and doesn't matter what level you're on, but great teams are startedin the locker room and- and it sounds like you guys had that locker roomwhere you know if, if there's a set of guys over there, setting guys over hereand so of guys over here, you're not going to win right, but if you're alltogether and opearing for each other and pulling for each other doing thesame things you got a lot of. You got a great chance of Bes yeah and thatstarted in middle school. That started and we grew up together and we grew uptogether on the playgrounds and out in the yard, is a screwing around andplaying games and fighting with each other and making up and buildingrelationships and having you know, therew's a bunch of leaders. I mean Iwas a quarterback and I was one of the leaders for sure, but there's four fiveof us. That kind of just refuse to lose refuse to accept anything less than thebest t you can give you know so so I...

...mean sounds like your family was alwaysvery supportive. You so dave talked about. You know that big game for you,and so what was your family like after the game like what ma? I know you havegreat memories on the field and we can get the. But what do you remember afterthe game about your family and your dad, your mom, everybody being there foryeah just all being there? I mean it was crazy. It was minus thirty Winshel, altuna MansionPark, Os December nint, one thousand nine hundred and ninety three jus crazycold. I mean the fans that we did have ere all bunched in Tihe with towerblankets over them after the game was just incredible: Seing them all thereand being there and taking the bus ride up and the next day we had a hugecelebra. We didn't get back to. I think three. In the morning game, InendoBotte, eleven or twelve at night gone on Tho Bus Rodhom came back big paradedown the middle down the streets to west Hu fire truck yeah. You know Iremember like it was yesterday, but being able to spend that with you knowwith my teammates and then obviously my family was awesome well in for thosepeople, they don't remember it. Let me tell me if I got this ring Youe down.Fourteen seven is that fourteen zip, with about five minutes, left okay, soyou score make e n fourt hundred nd seven yeah get the ball back. What is it fourth ind Gol from about the twentyeight Yep, so we were fourteen nothing. Finally, we weree drive put a scoretogether. Five minutes left they got I back drove whatever we punted dust. Wegot it back with two and a half left two minutes. Twenty eight seconds leftthrow past complete. It were on our own thirty, throw another pass, interceptedt twenty eight games over right. They get the ball back. How do you feelafter the temoralize? You know, but again, just kind of big thing as a quarterback in an August,if you had the same kind of thing, when I made a mistake, I missed e Mr Passthrough an interception fumbled, I was be damn fying going to go, get aninterception, backor nock e head off and try to get the ball back so hadthat opportunity, we got the ball back. They ran it three times time out time,ot time out, they pinted do us through the ends. Zon, we got it our own twenty.I think there was a minute. Thirty now left. We had no time aups back to thosewins right into our faces. Thirty Mile, an hour right at us through a pass fiveyards next play, put the Bar Anton out as like a wide receiver through a deeppost. They had a safety back there playing cover three. I chucked it downthe middle right over the safety said La Marcodit got down about the fiveyard line, wow, so clock stops because of the firsttime we get down there. First snap we were on a sweep to the left, ourstarting. This is keynow our starting receiver, who came on the motion andgot the sweep broke his ankle so time out Hek. He goes off feels about a twominute thing broke his ankle. He goes off, so that's our starting insideReceiveri'l come back to that in a second next place. So it's second andgo with the five we call pass play. We get a holding call back about twelveyards minus another ten. It's about second goal replay the down at thetwenty eight yard line. Second dime third down in complete, incomplete,smells fourth and go at the twenty eight yard line going in so we're fourbfor four wide. So two by two, we calle just four verticals. You know and againit's back then mostly all cover three so you're going to work. One of thosetwo inside receivers like look off the safety step up. PROBABL should haveanother holding call the same kid that got beat before right. Kid Goes Bu.Flying by me, I step up, throw it to the receiver, who was a SOB Chrispiolain for our starting receiver, kind of and again being a sub as a runng, avertical on down the field just supposed to look into the quarterbackhe was going down. He actually turned to the outside, as he turned I threw itto his inside hip, which made him Pur wet, get hem on the hip stock, whichcaused the safety to kind of overrun him. He went right inside of and walkedin the end zone wow, so that made it fourteen thirteen and again as thebackup receiver were you the holder. We decide to go for two Aga, you gofo toJack McCurry. He was always the Intin it yep we're gonna go for the win. Hehe went. He did it in Ehty six the year before they want it all at at ThreeRiver Stadium and in eighty five he went he kicked it kicker hit theupright. They lost seven six, the next year they went for it, went for two andmissed it and end up losing it. It was three years in a row, thee t thestadium and then the next year they end up wining at all in eighty seven, butso that's the kind of the history behind them. So we went for twoactually calgled a play walked up to the line. After we, bread was a pastplay as we were walking up. I called the guys back in tecide Tho Change.CADENCE get thim on drafs, so draw him off sides. So we walked up, drew himoff sides who actually moved up to the one and a half yard line. It was aspeed option to the right, took the ball and just kept it myself kind ofuntouched. They pinched everything down, and that was it fifteen fourteen t e gotthe ball back, ran a play through it. I intercepted it and kind of sealed itand OAS it. Anny intersepted it to Seel the game. I didn't know that point:Yeah Wow, that's so yougo through this amazing high schoolcareer, you're, getting recruited right...

...what schools were recruiting you yeah,so back in the day I mean. Probably one of the bigger recruits in the state ofPennsylvania was a great gater Rad player the year. So she had a press player, the You'rall that stuff, the the thing back then, as you know, andyou fit the mold exactly. You were in NFL, quarterback, big time talent and obviously you had the heightback. Then I didn't. I was six foot and back in the day when we came out that'skind of what they really really looked for. So a lot of schools, kind of toldme what what I wanted to hear that because I was pretty stuck on, eventhough the pretty good defender ill stuck on being a quarterback right, and so when it was all Seiden done, I visitedPitt, Penn State, Georgia, tech, Michigan, state and Seracuse. They werethe five schools. I visited ad letters and we always joke should Hav went toshould have went to Hawaii and Oucla, but again all Cro Washington, Oll Colorado. Ididn't really know about them right, there's, no Internet yeah and what Wdud?You know. You knew what you watchd, maybe on Channel Four, maybe maybe youcaught a bowl game the year before she really didn't know. I mean these kidsare sucked it' such an advantage nowadays, because they can do theirhomework. We don't know anybody, you got letters and you got all excited inknow. It was warm that's about it. Yeah maybe- and you know I know again- jusin away yeah being a family guy. I knew deep down. I wasn't going to go faraway and I ended up choosing Pitt staying clishe to home. What was that? What what made thatdecision? IDN Say pray was a big. They were, they were too, but pitt was a lotmore again told me told me what I wanted to hear that I was going to havea chance to compete its quarterback position pence. They wanted me to playthat that rover position the hero position, that they have made famousyeah. So that's kind of what made the decision for me. I thought I was goingto go in there and compete and and and the head coach of pit Johnny Majors wasthe headcoach t the time that's when they kind of he came back for thesecond time right, right, es little excitement in the program, my jarredMiller, who we mentioned earlier, he's on my staff now good friend of mine. Hewas actually at pit there and he was there, for, I think Johnny's first andAugul or second his second year was Johnny's first year there, but broughta lot of excitement back to the back to the program, and you know back to thewinning years of the late s a pit but two days, and I was moved over to thedefense side of the ball, so forget about what they said duringthe recruit yeah. I think I tell you will tell you what you want to hearuntil Yo get there and then Wi one thing and I've talked woth jared aboutthis. The teams you guys played on togetherPi didn't have a ton of success, but do not a talent the amount of the NFLplayers. It's incredible Ove Rod, Hem all down here I mean there's a bunch.We reher Tos Martin Tom Tummulty. Mike Morning, asruben Brown, Ruben Ruben,Brow Yeah, Jerry, O yeah. He was there yeah, my freshman near there. A lot O Otha was ton. Billy West had a huge career. I mean all these NFL guys TomBart go on and on and on, and just I think, my freshman oin year,four and seven anthe dor that four and seven three and eight two and nine ormy first three years so tas it was going from a you know the success wehad in Nighe school and State Championship an going there. It waskind of it was tough. You know- and thank God I mean we had a change andJohnny Major's. Awesome. Awesome Man Awesome for the program, but his staffon Herm wasn't wasn't the best. You know and yeah wold hairs came in and had some fireand brought a great staff in, and you know we over achiefed, because a lot ofthat talent was gone but wejst had good croup core group O guys that Wonteodthe win and we ended up should have won a big east. You know we lost theSyracuse Dona M Donnaman mcnabb through a fade with about thirty seconds leftin the corner. The Ends Ot at Pitch Stadium to beat us or we would havebeen- he biggeast champs wow. Well, that goes back to everything we talkabout all the time right. You could have all this talent, even even in theworld of NEP. Like remember, Kevin was telling some of that you could have alot of talent, but if you don't know how to put it in the right position andbring it all together, it's not going to work. But if Yeu have a group likeyour high school group, Yep that Hey, we got all this stuff, but we work asone no doubt can achieve any. It's amazing same thing: You did you seniorhear it's amazing. What what you get a group of people together that can allcome together for a common good, bigger than themselves, and that's soimportant that everybody's all especially nowdays? It's all about yourthemselves. You know meme me and twitter and social media and I'mblessed to have this offer and blessed as it I mean it's crazy, get what youcan can accomplish when everybody gets on the same page, ands all rown in thesame direction, with the same common good and me care more about you than Ido about myself right, you know and as as a team that we're going to be ableto you know accomplish this, it's US incredible. What was the biggestcontrast between majors and then having long harents. That's a great question. I think justthat that I don say a player coach, but he waslot more involved. Ju Coach, majors, an awesome man, you know love him forever,but he wasn't that involved. He was. He was the figurehead and maybe that's howthey did it back in the AA ellembaer UPAN yeah. He Sat, he sat in thebleachers yeah and then the coaches did. The things- and you know I want to sayhe wasn't that involved at the time. He wasn't that involved, and you know ifeverything underneath him wasn't Clickinwhen Wen wolt came in and whatwas awesome. You know he got a bad wrap...

...in the media and you know for whatever,but he wont a lot of Football Games here. I can't believe they got rid ofthem, but he was a great metor mind to seeing how he did things and how he ranthat offense and ran the team, and you know, like I said we were thirtyseconds for being biggeast champs and a lot of that was just because of wasbecause of a lot of the names on that list. That was early in my career pit.We had just some normal guys that didn't play any FFL, but just you know,came together and play for each other. Was it Pekins all YEP heacons all thiswas this was the quarterback he still is in I ery ight. He does he lives upabout ten miles from me, yeah because I think he, coaches, quarterbacks Tor,yeah, right, yeah and Te. Not a lot of NFL guys, you know a lot of us had sometryouts and whatnot, but Intunio Bryant was after yeah. That was after thatafter Yep. So well, you know one thing that we talked about Ol the transitions,and so you had a little like Youka from high school. You want to playquarterback all sudden you're on defense and you probably had to getover that a little bit yeah. That was probably very tough to do because Iknow whet. I got recruited some place. Hi wanted me to play defeil on Len,there's no way on the ahline defense, so I had to go somewhere. I knew tolsowas gonna. Let me throw the boand all that stuff, but how was that like? Howdid you deal with that mentally? It was difficult. I mean at first it was like wow. You know I'mgoing to get a chance because you know early on. I competed and I end up being.I started the first game, my freshman nyear, as as a nickel nickel package Iplayed. Maybe twelve snaps were playing University of Texas running back onthat side of the Guyat priest homes and then his backup came in. I think hisname was Ricky Williams. Remember that name Yeah. So a couple pretty good dosand I'm out there playing nickel bag is a true freshman playing defense. So atthe time at first I was kind of excited just because I was playing ou whateverit takes to help the team. But you know from an Egos Damn Port Yeah Iwas. It was tough, a little bit. You know. I know I'm better in these guysand Jus, give me a shot and, like I said back then with you know, there's acertain mold. They wanted and I didn't fit that. But ultimately you know Ilearned a lot of lessons from that and was able just to kind of persevere andcontinue on wherever I could help the team howd your family handle thatbecause they're so behind you yeah, they were fine. I mean you know justsaid all the right things and you know again. It's ultimately is as much as I might nothalike to those about the team and Doimg, whatever the coach es thoughtwas best at the time you know so that was kind of my goal there, but yeah hadan awesome career. I wouldn't change anything I mean had to end up tearingmy acl my junior year, yeah third third play o the game. Adahio state whichagain the rule, changes, kind of hurt. Me Three plays or I would have got amedical red shirt, oh yeah, so I was that, if you played in three games youwere aneligible. So third playid at high state, Eddie George broke free and again noncontact. I came down from mysafety position to hit him and t put my foot in the ground, not that I wouldhad I'm pro woith Ha missedher. He would have ran me over well. He was arather big Hu day, but I put my foot in tha ground t attempt to tackle him andit just blew out and well the think Wen. The final like sixty six zeroo bad. Youcan kind of lust like ease Awayoi. Wasn't a part of that one? Did you playthat Game Werso? Now your finishing college and you'regetting ready to take those next steps? What was it wh? Would you go aftercollege? What was your next step yeah? So for you like, like anybody, I thinkmost people that play collegiou football, theyave dreams and aspirationBEIN NFL and after my career a couple injuries and didn't quite ever get backto where I was and had a couple triots and ot not much worked out, and I justhad some great mentors at it pit with wold harrs coach, Junko, coach Coyer,who was in an NFL for a number of years, AF defense coordinator, just trying tofigure out what I want. I knew I wanted to be involved with athletics andSports. I couldn't play anymore a lot of guys. Coache would come up and say,you'd make a good coach, and so I kind of took thact to heart and my decisionright there was. Should I go the college route, the Ga type thing andtry to go that rout or going to high school again I had such a great highschool career and being close to my family and whatnot. You know I had an education backgroundthroughoutso. I had a feeling that if I wasn't going to play I'd be a coach andthat's kind of where I went an you know a couple Lomenttors I had said you knowwhat college is awesome and all, but it's tough. You know it's tough on yourfamily and traveling and you know the instability of it. So I decided thetime to go the high school route y and the rest of his history. I went back tomy hamamoderate pit or at North Hills coas there for ten years and thenNowi'm at time or some that must have been a tough transition going from yourAl Mater Your legend there, you b you're teaching Er ye you're coachingthere, and then you have to go to not necessarily a rival yeah it. I wouldn'tsay it was tofewas more just yeah. I guess tough. It was more just likescary, because we were very an every year. I was at North Hills, Rom. Ninetynine, through two Os Tan. We want nine games every year, yeah, nine or moreright that so very successful playoffs every year, but we never got ou to hupwit, couldn't beat the the at the time it was the mckeysports, the WoodlandHills, ithe world. You Know Bu fom there when you Riedo, yeah, okay sadimwas built in two thousand and one I...

...didn't get there until eleven clarultimits at the time was the head coach. I worked under him for two years ascoordinator, and then he retired, I mean that's an impressint place andlook like awful all. It is yeah really better than a lot of smolcologist, sothey can pine Ritzon became what it is from two different schools, Kenolin armstrong is now igk where I went because I for Tinny Gadanin combined well, no,it was always richland and I think pine was just farms. It was all tree weretrees, Os down that yeah they bring in SAR build houses in and two thousandand one maybe night. I could be off a year to they kind of came together andmade Pine Rirshond Thi was always Rickh in highschool and to I think, likeninety nine and then pine richthen when they built this potbuilt to school inthe stadium. So when you first went there like how many kids are on the dea very similar to North Hills, I mean,even to this day it's not much bigger. Sixty sixty kids, Yeah N E ten throughtwelve and even to this day, were maybe five more sixty five, it's stillbecause the houses up there they build are too big. You know they bill bit.They build. You know these million dollar homes, and so there's not a lotof people. Think it's so big. We're not we're the second second from the bottom.In six, a here in Thewipio, you know, so I no matter where you travely alwayssay I six A. I think you guys always got to be there yeah that so so muchyeah Wer, like a you, know, Woodie high and the key ported down an fivea nowright, o they yep, and that to me was like when I was helping out of central when that rivalries were torn apart a I think that was hard for a lot ofpeople. Yeah I mean the northfills me growing up North Hills. North Alligenewas the biggest rivalry around. That's I mean hated hate hatred, that'll playaother anymore yeah, you know, and it's now now you know new rivalries, erecreated as kids come and go, and but us as old timers look back. Yeah thit's istough yeah. We used to go through that when, when jared was at you know it wascalled arm. STROK said Yep, it was cotaining at Ford City and theycombined and then all these people from both places, mostly Fort City, werelike. Oh no we're for tiddy. We don't want to be. You know whart to Geori,you know and and which was stupid, which I never agreed with, and wefought to keep it consolidated because you're going to get better athletic orbetter classes, better everything, and then they ended up consolidating andthen here Wego back up again, twelve years later, fifteen years, lateerwhatever it is, and they you know they come back and do it again and createArmstrong, and I think the better was like Waa year that wasn't two years Ayeyeah. I played them itwas my my like sophomore junior year, and they weregood. They had good talent and all they were tough kids. Yeah Wjarad alwayshold the record for touchon catches because it'll never exist again or, as helhe'll tell you ye best tightend this side of the Mississippi Yeah. I think I heard that about the thirdhour I met so you've had a great career at PineRicland. You know we don't need to go throughall Ur your staff, because I think people know what you've done there, butyear after year, you're putting out amazing teams, and so if you look backat all the people that you learned your coaching skills from and from when youwere a little to now. What do you think was the best thing you've ever learned?Definitely taking the best attributes, like I said, from coach, mccury in highschool and then and coach majors in coach Harris for my father growing upjust trying to take the best things from all those men that kind of hadinfluence on me and make it in my own and and ultimately you know, I've kindof just like you, guys in your Professions and and Mine and coachinggot to be yourself when it's all sedden done. You got to be yourself, so, justbeing genuine, you know caring about the kids. They got TA, they ain'tGoinna play for Ou. If they don't know you care about them, you know. So Ithink that's the number one thing surrounded myself with a great staff.My Staff is incredible: We've been together now six years, not one change on on thevarsity staff. You know, I think, when you, when you look in the NFL and yousee the Successi steelers had there for a member, the ZEC continuity like withthe roones and one. Not so that's something that I think so importantthat we have that that you know continuity, theire staff. You know I'mnot the smartest guy around, but I know, surround myself with good smart people.You know the care about kids, you know I talking about like just you know,hiring somebody or bringing somebody in to talk to the kids. The biggest thingthat I care about is just that. You know they're there for the kids andthey an they show they care about them. So Yeah W, you know, that's what'sexciting about high school sports. Is You have you have a good year one yearand wrap it up, throw it away? Let let's doit again? Righ N O stave a lot of alumni that come back and yeah. That'sthat's rewarding. I know Thetr, you know you get out there and like rightnow, Anto Christophac whos it noter dame. He went up early. He was backworking out at the place. I get guys texting me all the time to come backand work out. The facilities hey'll come back on Friday nights when theycan and it's cool to see and heck, even on my staff of of my fourteen guys onstaff now any ater paid, but of all...

...those guys on staff. I think there'ssix five or six that play for me: Imia Coupl, my ex quarterbacks a couple guysthat played for me at north tills to that playd. For me, a pine t sounsgreat, and I think that makes it special to and adds that familyatmosphere that you know 'let's face it. I think all sports are good, butthere's nothing like football in that that team atmosphere. No, I agree. Iagree with that and I love coaching for the kids right and one of myfavorite stories when I was coaching a and in St Louis, at John Burrohs I meanI had two incredible athletes is zeco Eliot one of my athletes and that FoyaLu, Onn who's, the Linebacker, who we interviewed last week for the Falcons.I mean two mazing athletes, but and they have great stories. But what am I?In the school? Four hundred total yeah Toi had twenty eight kids on my teaJheez F. One thing that just rings true kind of on the same lines is we wantthe state championship in seventeen and obviously everybody knows about PhilDrokovi, an the high school talent, id Wasom he's another dame now and he wasobviously a very high end kid, but the rest of the rest of that team. Thatsenior class, I think, weany, had maybe four kids that went on to play collegefootball, including Phil. So my point with that is that the best teams thatI've had have been teams that are made up ofjust kids that similar to to the one you were talking about, they just lovedit and love to play for each other and we're just kind of normal, high schoolyea. Kids, an love to playful practice, erearly, never want to Bev fiel andthey weren't any big time star than we've had a cup. Last year we had, wehad a you know: We won the whipield, but we lost in thes state semis, butthis past year's, I think we're going to send twelve kids to college yeah, sothat team was good, but that didn't compare to the team in seventeen. Justbecause you know it's amazing, like kind of back whe, we talked aboutearlier what you can accomplish when you got all these kids that are had thesame goals in mind right, you know, I'd want kid to escore three touch thattens score touchdown the whole year and Gettin the playoff off Sodeng. He hadthree catch ONS on one game to the next and didn't pase them. You know he'sjust a team player and Ho whoevers turn it was they din't care right. So I thinkthat's important. Do Your Kids Now! I know R son playsfootball. Youve three: Are they did you participate in theircoaching, their teams or like? How does that work? Yes, so my daughter, myoldest Hes, fast pitch, softball and she's, an awesome awesome athlete sheworks so hard at it. I've never coached her. Now, I'm! U Ow the dad that sitsthere and this bes a dat is a dad which is awesome. My youngest daughter she's incompetitive cheer, which is as big as football as in westernPennsylvania, competitive, cheers, Mota Lot of traveling a lot of time and heyou O she's three four days a week, doing that and loves it, but my sonknow to answer question: I've never, never really coached them in youthfootball. I just wanted to kind of Y H, be a dad you, you know growing up inbaseball wrestling. No, I never never really coachand, not we work together.You know. Obviously you know in the yard, at home and we'll go to the fieldand do something, but no I just want to kind of, because I'm eventuallyhopefully going to get a chance to coach them right so growing up. I don'tjust want to be a dad. What position is he playing right now? He's aquarterback and you know safety, you know, but if he doesn't start growing a littlebit, e'll be fullbacker. You know running back or something real quick,but now he again he's an awesome kidty. He works really hard. I loves it, you know, so I hope he could. At leastyou know, just if anything take take my love for the game out of it. When I'mlong one was JEN and Athlet Jen was a Cherleader, but she also ran track OKA,yeah yhopeful. I think the kids got her speed. Wod lines. Are There Al Right?So one ask question: So: Do you have aspirations of coaching at a higherlevel? Yeah? I think. Ultimately, I would like to get that opportunity. Youknow I've passed on some opportunities up to this point. Nothing has beenright yet, but you know I'm in a very good situation: o Pin Richin that lovewhat I do, it's a great great place to raise a family. You know I got a acoach with some of my best friends. You know I am able to be here with mykids able to go to their activities, I'm still able to get home most nightsby five five six o'clock right. I know. If I went to college rob, then a lot ofthat's going to change. It's definitely chane financially. Obviously, Itud be alot better from a from a challenge aspect as a football coach would be, itwould be, it would be better, but I don't know if, as a you know, the lifewould be better right, you know, but yeah it's definitely out there and theright situation comes along IWILL. Definitely, listen! We're going to gothrough our noe, how to segment here with Eric and we're going to fire USwote question so day once you start out all right Eric, if you could tradeplaces with any athlete in history for one day, who would that be? Oh well,I'M gonna go with my guttand who came to mind a we talk about this. A lotlike if you couldn't be a pro football player, hit'd, be all well and good, amea. You did it but injuries right and it's a grind. Ithink ID want to be a professional...

...golfer, so I think I'd say Tiger Woods. You know aa lot of such highs, such lows, but again now especially whath happengrecently to come back and to be back at the top, I think I'd, say Tim Yo Golfgame kind of similar. My Golf Game One day, I'm going to be a really goodGolfer. It's just E, don't have Timea Gote O, I put it for my tickets, theother day actually Yeahyeah Yeah I've been down to about a six handicap. I goout to Thel Proby, I'm probably like a twelve. You know I can, you know, make some parts make upburdies, but I just don't play enough, but that's definitely when, when I retiting out of plane, O b yeah, what your favorite porers around here Oak Montt'sawesome pebble beaches on the bucket list. Hi Played Tory Pines, it wasawesome, Galoway in new JERSEYIS, an awesome private course. I'd sayOkamontus, because I've played it and I know every hole just from watching it.On TV it', a great place, igeat place, so you've been a coach, a player, afather son. All these things. What's your biggest pet peev disorganization. You know, I think,that's one thing, I'm not like. I said I'm not very smart, I'm not very goodat a lot of things, but there's one thing I like is just organization. Ifyou say going to be somewhere, be there if you say going to be here on thattime, beyon time t there's nothing worse than whenpractice is unorganized right and you don't. Nobody knows where they're going.That was always my pit yeah to if you're, coaching and guys don't knowwhere they're doing or if you give guy assignment a he's, not paying attentionhundred percent. It drives you CRAZ. Well, I've been on vacation with Ericand I think everything is down to the minute. I'm yeah. When dinner, starte es go. We gotta good dinnerright when you get freshaned up and Yan good to dinner y.A that's all it's all. So this is always a good one too. If theyweremaking a movie about you who ould who would play Eric Cathprochen Movie, OhJeez, we'll say Tom Hanks Ik see the I ver he's versable Hehe's,you know agating Yo know he very can do I a bunch of different things. I'm pictur in the fore COP Basspeces,you know a bunch different takes e is fast good. A PINK PONG! Yeah Y no met abunch of presidents aw, the worldright yeah. How about your favorite Pittsburgh?Restaurant o obvious answer right for Manne's man,Yeah Pemae? Well, we have a really good one he's going to try which is acorn.My friend Shef Scott Walton, who lives up O okay, but we're going to give youa gift certificate for Com awesome. What's it go acorn, it's called AcorsenTrady side, solike, Ik genthere, that maybe we can change his mind. What doyou think Daveyou've had the burgers there it'sthey're unbelievablealso thepoint: Yeah Som, we're very thankful theyre sponsor, but if they, even ifthey weren't a Porbe, some on mine was mine- was a very Pittsparg, An said good place up near us. Awesome Little restaurant O callililly,Oh really, yeah, awesome incredible little spot right in Gipsonia, so nice,what got on the list? Buffalo bills, yeah by the trip come on to a game. Yougo over to Itis, really good fuck, yeah. Absolutely how about the loudeststadium you played in as a player as a player. That's easy, Texas, UnivrUniversity of Texas, Longhorn Stadium. Incredible just straight up. I meanlooks like this room here, just walls straight up no track right. On top ofyou couldn't hear thing: They love their opponents. Don't they awesomethrowing stuff at Ya? It was a burnt orange everywhere they got that big. What is it a steer? Whatever MorLonghorn it? Whatever is whatever his name is Jeez I mean it was awesome,experience arigh louder than worseshit yeah, because the horse root the timewas open. HAT's. It was open when I played there: okay, let's aid escaperight, awesome venue, visually yeah. Miami was was again awesome visually, but I don'tknow they were really good in the late S,but the stadium never got packase. It was off campus. They was ful. The oldorange yeah yeah, so itwas kind of little disappointing. That way as therea little finicky yeah last question for you in the hubdle: okay, no Ho'll Dave.You know which one we're going to have well: okay, out of everyone, who's in your phonewho's, the most interesting or famites whoo. I think I'm a pride that I got. I got abunch of maybe famous people who give us like atop three top three op threeos like woa Wo's, likeit', Gais God, it all comesback to like the the organization part right. I got a name, I'm going to keepthat thing: hatever right, Ben Rathasburger! There's no is one!That's a big ones, big one Mike Tomlen, I'm in Te steeler tree here, yeah Sinny, Crosbie himw. What about outsideof Pittsburgh Sports...

Yeah? I don't know! Let me think of, Imight get' come to me as we that's a reason. Yeah take that three. So backwe were talking about social media little bit. I have no idea why shefollowed me, but on my twitter about thisis about a two months ago, Sol DadO'Brian, yeah, big timer on CNN or something yeah booking my twitter id afollow, followed me out of nowhere, which Ih've, no idea why you knowprobably throw some other organization, but she follows me: There O we'resitting the CACHULAR DASO my daughter, Ou Wek. She followed Meo, whatever that's worth great. Well, heythanks for color Shilik, very much o Ge wit, uthat's. It folks and we'll seeyou next. I.

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