Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Eric Kasperowicz


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 for privacy information.

I am former NFL quarterback, gustfor I played quarterback fifteen years in the NFL. This is my show calledhuddle up with gusts. Each week I team up with my longtime friend DaveHagar and we talked with guests about how sports shape their lives. Pro Athletes, business executives, community leaders, everyone has a story to tell about sports. We invite you to huddle up with gusts this week in the huddle.During his senior season and North Hills high school, this whippill legend manage tolead his team to the state championship and earn the covenet honor of player ofthe year. Although scholarship offers beckon from near and far, this hometown herochose to represent the city he loves by staying right here in the bird andplaying for Pitt. After finishing his college career at Pitt, this competitive,natural born leader didn't have to go far to find success. In two thousandand seventeen he delivered a state championship as head coach of the Pine Richland Rams. Please welcome into the huddle, Eric Kasparovitch. Right now we're going toget in the huddle with my partner, Dave here and we got a greatguest on. Dave, want to introduce our guest today because I think youtell the story the best. Well, we're going to get into his highschool exploits, which I still I talked to gusts about theom. This mightsound weird, but we actually got a long discussion a bottom over some beers. But I've known Eric now for maybe eight or nine years. He andmy brother in law coach together at Piemans from football. Eric said, tremendoussuccess as a coach at plane richland. We're going to hear today. Youknow his roots, where he started, how he began with sports and whereit's taking him now. So in a huddle with us today's Eric Kasparovich,Whippiel Hall of Famer, Hey, coach at prime richland. So thanks forjoining us today. Yeah, thanks for having me on as a pleasure tobe here. You know, awesome city of Pittsburgh and, like you said, just kind of you know what we're all about here. I mean Ithink Pittsburgh special place it you always hear people you know from Pittsburgh and upcoming back, and you know I've I've never left. I born and raised, grew up in Pittsburgh. I went to Pitt had some opportunities to leaveand ultimately, you know, stayed here. So I've been here all my lifeand decide to talk about you got a little better pittsburgh accent than Dave, and I think so. Well, I have more of an Arizona accent. Is the Arizona even have an ADDEA. It's all it's transienting on the Harik. What one of the things we always like to ask and start withis, is what was that influence early for you for sports? Was ayour father or your brother and the idol you had that used to watch allthe time? Yeah, definitely my family, my father, you know, ata young age and still just some good values, and not just myself, my brother and my sister. You know, we're always outside and hewas an athlete in high school, so it was always out catching ball andyou know, we're on the yard or heck, when we moved out thisway, we actually grew up in Avalon Bellevue, Avalon, which in theUSGATE school district. When I was in sixth grade, moved to the NorthHill School district and just always instill in kind of those values and getting outsideand playing, and I think that's something a lot of these kids nowadays lose. You know, it's so structured and so overcoached in and you know overtaught that these kids just don't go out and play anymore. And I knowsome people say it, but I I really really push out on my kidsnowaday not just my own personal kids, but even my players. There's Timeswhere we'll go out to practice and we'll get into this a little bit,but you know, still play. Go, just go, pick up your gameyourself and figure things out solve problems on your own. And so,getting back to my original point, my father and my you know, mymother, I really just urged us to get outside and be active and developeda love with sport growing up. I'm going to you know, being inPittsburgh, city of champions, you know, so going to the pirate games andstealer games and Penguin Games and just kind of, you know, grewup through high school that way and then being in an awesome high school asNorth Hills. You know, back in the s they were one of thetop programs in the country. So they want to own yeah, mythical.There was no win it all back then. Yeah, but they did what theycould. Back then it was based on reputation and number kids going tocollege. And Yeah, so they won the Mythical USA Today National Championship inone thousand nine hundred and eighty seven, and I was a ripe, youknow, sixth grader at the time looking up to those guys. They werelike my idols and I'm going to do that one day. You know,that's kind of where it all started. Like one of my college I wasgoing to ask there's still sign? I remember that. Eighty seven. Yep. Yeah, so that's still when you enter a couple different areas where youunder Ross and Wesh you and it's still there. And actually when when Iplayed we won the state, they actually put a little addition on the bottomof that. But yeah, it's a cool, cool thing to have ina small, little you know, you talked about these big districts now outof east and across the country. Just a small little, you know,area of West and North Hills to have the success that they had back inthe day was pretty special. One of my college roommates and guys I playwith, Mark Lasting, was on that use of sophomore. Okay, youknow, I'm we graduate high school. They yeah, he was on thatteam. So I don't know how much...

...he played or or whatever, buthe was alignment. He played with me at Tulsa. So we always calledhim to heat miser. So I don't know why, but he looked likea pro wrestler if I remember. Yeah, that long right, long are now. So he was a great he was a roommate from of mine forquite a few years. So, you know, one of the things youtalked about was going out and playing like kids don't do that today. Youdon't see kids just pounding a basketball courts or in some empty field. Didyou do that? Who was like your competitor? That you you know myolder brother. I hadn't know brother two years above me. That you know, I just constantly lost to all my life at everything, whether it wascheckers or horse in the backyard or pick up football, and then, youknow, I just wanted to beat him and just wanted to beat him andever anything we did and we always competed, it was it was good. Istill my best friend of this day and you know, just kind offallen his lead and eventually, as I grew up, I was able tobeat him in some things and and then just, you know, the coregroup of friends when we got to school and hanging out and just being activeand getting out doing doing things on our own. And, like I said, I think the big thing is we figured out things on our own.You know, it's everything so structured and and so coached. You know,you got to go to this personal trainer to do this for three times aweek for, you know, an hour, and I guess there's a place forall that. You know, maybe when you get older, but asa kid, as a high school kid and definitely a middle school age kid, you need to go out and figured it out yourself. You know whatyou're good at, what pushes your buttons, how you can, you know,push yourself in different ways. Right now, women making do with whatis available in terms of fields and stuff. We were talking to a guess beforeabout creating whisketball fields and stuff. I like, I was telling themI still look for wifftball fields town. I'm driving. I'm gonna you knowwhat that make you go? Waball, don't know what kids play whiffleball anymore, you know, I mean I never seen it matter how run Derby takethe whifftball in the field and crank it over the fan. Never be likea nice said of hedges and you on, I'd be sweeting. Yeah, exactly, yea. So how much do you think it like all the differentsports that you played when you were a kid helped you when you got older? Well, I think that multiple sports helped kids tremendously and I had myparent meeting the other night with with up at pine wrestling with my parents andI'm a big proponent of multiple sport athletes. You know, I want guys thatobviously are bought into football, but I want guys that are active inother sports. They're coached by other people right there. oftentimes you're back thatbest athletes because they can different different movement patterns, different ranges of motion.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 ofif I'm throwing a baseball twelve months out of the year, my shoulder wasnot going to last very long. So it's good to get a break fromthat and then go to football and then and then go to basketball or whateveryour sports are. Maybe wrestling. Maybe Lacrosse is huge now, but justbeing active, being with different, you know, friend groups, being coachedby different people, working different muscle groups, training different muscles. I think that'sall so important. And when I was a kiddy and I did themall, I wanted to play every sport that I could. Actually, goinginto my high school career my goal was to be a twelve year or atwelve Letterman, twelve letter winner. So as a freshman, lettering in forsports throughout your high school career, right. So that was my goal. Iend up tearing my acl pretty early on as a freshman and so Ididn't happen. I couldn't do everything I wanted to do or I was urgednot to do all the sports care those full tear. Wow, you cameback for that. Yep, Yep, I actually tour it twice. Well, in college I did it again. Some words. So football. Iwas a big wrestler growing up, so I did football. In the fallof my freshman year I was moved up to the Varsity, starting for theVarsity team. Tour mycl I was going to plan to wrestle that year.I was a state champ wrestler as a sixth grader and the junior Olympics,baseball, and then I was going to track and do track and field becauseI again looking up to some of the older guys, a couple of thebetter athletes, the bender twins, who was a big name. That oneplayed at Georgia Tech and the other North Carolina State. Remember them. Sothe one was a big baseball player and I saw that they let him runtrack as well, even though there's the same season. He'd compete in theinvitations and whatnot. So that was kind of my goal when I was goingto plan to do it as a freshman. After I tore my acl obviously itall kind of went down the hill, but I came back and still rantrack and play for football. But back then this was nineteen ninety,one thousand nine hundred and ninety, so they didn't know if you could evenmake it back from an acl and there, especially around here. Yes, Iwas advised. You know, football's you think that's your things. Staywith that and I came back to run track after the fact. But sowhen you were young, did your dad coach you or did you have othercoaches? Yeah, Throughout you sports, my dad was my baseball coach,coach me and you in youth football up until you got to the school agestuff. Yeah, he was there all the time and you know, hedid it the right away and there's things, you know, good things he didwith me and there's some things that, you know, along the way.I learned that as a parent now and as a father of three kids, that you know, I do a little bit differently with my kids,but I wouldn't be the man I am today without, you know, hisleadership and how he was able to coach me, and those are times that, you know, I remember forever. Why see him on your sidelines now? All right, yeah, it's awesome, lucky to have them on my sidelines. That's been, I think, since two thousand and thirteen. He'sbeen with me and he's they call him coach Pappy, and he's like,if I'm going to get the guy that's getting on the kids, they gotto coach pappy and he'll love them up and he feeds him chocolate milk andpeanut butter and Jelly sandwiches and that's great.

They love it. If they needan extra sticker, he might give me an extra helmet sticker or somethingbut he's like that. He's like everybody's pappy on the team. Yeah,so you know my dad was when I was in senior little league, Iwas thirteen years old. I was pitching in my dad and my grandfather weremy coaches. So the first pitch was a ball. I walked. Thefirst batter and four pitches they stood up in a dug out reella right.The next batter I walked, they moved out halfway between the dug out inthe third base line. The next batter I walked three guys in a row. They were on the sideline yelling at me. I walked the fourth batterand a run scores and they were livid like they were billy work for people. Yeah Right. And so after that I couldn't take it anywhere. Justkept yelling and screaming. I put my glove down and I only lived likea half mile and walked out the gate and walked home. My Dad didn'ttalk to me for two weeks. So it seems like your dad prochee alittle bit differently than my dad, and that would and maybe they that's whatthey knew, right. I mean I didn't know any better and they lovedhim it carried on Hoo way through the NFL. Right, I call himup and he go why the hell would you throw that that guy? Like, what were you thinking? Like, yeah, but dad, I threefour touchdowns, we won. I don't know. You know what I mean. That's how he was just an all we were. We were beating theteam. This is two thousand and fourteen, the year we went to the statefinals and lost. We were beating Seneca Valley that year. At halfit was fifty nine, fifty nine two, nothing or fifty nine seven at half. So sure enough, we go up at halftime and started your off, take your shoulder pads off, you're done. We're putting Jav in right. My Dad's like not a good idea. They were good team. They wererank three and a whip people at the time. When we just smokedthem, we count of came out of nowhere and sure enough we go backout. They had their starters in. First three times they scored or theygot the ball. Score, score, score, before you know it hisfift twenty one or fifty nine and twenty eight. Yeah, it's a runningcloth. There's like maybe a minute after in the third quarter because we gotthe ball and we had our young kids in three plays, punt, threeplay and eventually the time things ran out of time and I think they mighthave made it fifty nine to thirty five, but I'm like, just relax,it's I don't care if we went by one point. I want tohave my guys healthy. But I still get some I'm sure I'm some creativecriticism any side line of games I would have played in the NFL. Idon't think I would have played very long. You've had a lot of influence inyour life by your family and it's so important and you know some someof us have great families. Of Us, you know, people don't have greatfamilies, but we all persevere through those things and we all learn andand how to deal with those different transitions and your story is great and itprobably made you who you are today, for sure. And you know,I great coaches along the way as well. And once I got the high schoolcoach, Jack McCurry, who's, you know, one of the bestin the whole country, if not, you know the best. He's inthe whole fame state hall of fame. Will pe a hall of fame,obviously, and learned a lot of values and lessons from him as well.He gave me a lot of opportunity. I was able to coach under himfor a number of years. So, you know, again, another veryvaluable person to come. Yeah, I heard Jack didn't like to be onTV too much or do interviews. Oh really, I didn't know that TVas much, maybe because I wasn't paying attention. But yeah, he wasn'tvery good at the media in general. As far as interviews, I don'tknow. He was very, very, very he's old school, very oldschool, very confident in what he did. If anybody question anything, he likedit. But who can argue? It'll ton of success. Treated methe right way, you know. Again, you know, I think the best, best thing I can do is as a coach, as an educator, as a father's I try to take the best things I can from whoeverI I see doing things and and kind of making my own and I tooka number of things from him that I do today. Still not a lotof parent conferences with the Cook with Jack. No, they knew better that.I don't think in his thirty some years of coaching he had many parentconferences. They even try to approach him. Yeah, and he's Dad, mywife's Dad, Harry, coach for a long time acatanny and short coachjared, who you know. Yep, some of his stories are just absolutelyclassic and you know how he approached it and and what. So, goingoff of that, what offense did you roam with Jack? What were youguys doing? So we were very ahead of the times, you know.We were talked about the championship, the Jack One in one thousand nine hundredand eighty seven. When I was a young kid, they were the wishbone. Three running backs, two tight ends. Pounded through it I think twenty timesin fifteen games. Right. Sure enough, transition three years later Iget in there as a true freshman. We kind of phased out of that, but by the time I was a junior, senior, we were spreadoffense. We were eleven personnel, three receivers, one tight end, onerunning back, so pretty spread when you're talking back football. Back in theearly s we threw it, you know, around a town. I think atthe time I was the leading passer in the whip pill which since now, twenty some twenty five years later, I think I'm like seventeen on thelist. Yeah, they just keep going. Yeah, that keep prosibly one atone time. Yeah, the next year somebody passed. But we werevery, very, very, you know, wide open at the time, youknow, getting spread them out. I was a I ran for alot of a lot of yards. Had the Labarrington, who was a greatNFL guy, Great College Guy. He...

...had him in the backfield so tobe able to have that punch and we had a lot of guys up front. They were really good players. Averagely double digits per carry or something.Didn't he was like, yeah, I think it's like ten yards. Yeah, yeah, and he was on a freshman the time. But yeah,we were very, you know, wide open as an offense, which kindof gave teams threaded or keep. gave defenses some fits because they didn't knowit is. Again, knows early s are going to lat up and coverthree maybe play man to man, and Jack was ahead of the time andknew how to beat those and we had a couple past concepts. We ranit just I'd a receiver back then. Add eighty some catches. I thinksixty two of those were on the same exact play right, because nobody couldcover because they any ran certain defenses back then they didn't know it. LikeHarry only ran wing tea, ran a Delaware wing tea in high school andlike he never like we threw it a little bit like my high school careerthrough forty three times I get the college a first college game I play,I probably through a game. It's like why? But those old school guysin it's a it's a testament yere coach that saw that that if I changeda little we might be able to beat these defenses. Yeah, a lotof those old school coaches did ever want to change. No, and thenand they end up getting kind of passed by. You know, if theydon't, because I think that's probably the best thing that we do. ItPine rission. We try to stay cutting edges as we can. I thinkwe're very cutting edge, trying to stay one step ahead of everybody else.You know, we went to when I got there, I knew we couldn'tbeat central Catholic and North allegany just because we didn't have those monster kids.You know, we're a very small six a school, so we to findour niche. In our niche was just a bunch of good looking high schoolkids, you know, five foot eleven hundred seventy pounds. So if wecouldn't line up and just run, run the ball and these guys, wecould beat everybody except for the big dogs, right. So our niche was tospread them out and and use our skill a little bit. And Iknew we weren't going to get many big time, big time level kids andthat's kind of been our recipe for success. And then, you know, everyonce in a while you have a fielder covid come along, it couldbe a really special year. You might have the best uniforms in the whippieldto. I appreciate that. Yeah, it's uniforms. We like them.You know, try to. You got to be smart with kids nowadays.You gotta gotta have the gear in the swag and you got to have thatfor the kids. They had sold doubts all about Instagram, twitter and socialmedia. Now Down, you know, they're not putting an ugly uniform onsocial media. So you had a lot of SISS success in high school,you know, and you had to go through a lot. You know,you talked about it being a multiple sport athlete. Have an injuries to dealwith, and so those transitions are very tough and a lot of people don'tcome back from those transitions. What drove you to be the best? Yeah, I think the big the first one was it was a freshman in highschool, ACL Taar. Never knew, you know, I was getting tackled, but in nothing to with my knee. It just kind of tweaked the wrongway and never knew if, you I'd play again, you know.So I just knew one thing is work, work my butt off and try toget back. I came back and, you know, I was wasn't thesame speed. Never quite had that what I had before, but justkind of persevered. I you know, great support from family and friends andactually made it back and, you know, had a good high school career.But those it was trying, you know, to be able to kindof go through that and, you know, again just that uncertainty. But Ithink again, that kind of made me what I am today and taughtme a lot of values of you know, just life in general. That's what'sthe great thing about sports, is right, you know, it putsyou in these situations that, you know, if you don't play sports, younecessarily don't don't do and 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 asked about the state championship game. Yeah, quite often, that it's one of the classic finale's. Yeah, quite often. You know, incredible memories from that. I remember every play to the to thesecond. You could ask me anything about it and still remember it. GotGreat Relationships, great friends and we great team. You know, a lotof just really good bond with those guys. I mean, you know, wetalked about we weren't going to weren't going to drink alcohol. I meanthat was a big thing, you know, especially with kids nowadays. You know, we tell them to make good choices, and hey, you shouldn't. You can't be a top level athlete and chewing to back here drinking alcoholas a going to that senior year and we were kids. We made apack to each other that nobody was going to do that and we didn't dothat. That hold that whole season. That was just one example, though, of how we kind of we're so close and it showed on the field. To me, I've always said to send doesn't matter what level you're on, but great teams are started in the locker room and and it sounds likeyou guys had that locker room where, you know, if if there's aset of guys over there, setting guys over here and side the guys overhere, you're not going to win. But if you're all together and cheeringfor each other and pulling for each other and doing the same things, yougot a lot of you got a great chance to be sexy and that startedin middle school. That started and we grew up together and we grew uptogether on the playgrounds and out in the yards is screwing around and playing gamesand fighting with each other and making up and building relationships and having you know, there's a bunch of leaders. I mean I was a quarterback and Iwas one of the leaders for sure, but there's four or five of usthat kind of just refuse to lose, refuse to accept anything less than thebest you can g give. You know.

So so, I mean it soundslike your family was always very supportive of you. So Dave talked aboutyou know, that the big game for you. And so what was yourfamily like after the game? Like what? Man, I know you have greatmemories on the field, we can get that, but what do youremember after the game, about your family and your dad and your mom,everybody being there for yeah, just all being there. I mean it wascrazy. It was thirty wind chill, a'l Tuna Mansion Park. It wasDecember ninth, one thousand nine hundred and ninety three, just crazy cold.I mean the fans that we did have were all bunched in fight with powerblankets over them after the game. was just incredible seeing them all there andbeing there and taking the bus ride up and the next day we had ahuge celebrat. We didn't get back to I think zero in the morning.Game to N Endo about eleven or twelve at night. Gone in the busride him, came back. Big Parade down the middle, down the streetsof West you fire trucks. We you know, I remember like it wasyesterday. But being able to spend that with you know, with my teammatesand then obviously my family, was awesome. Well, if in for those peoplethat don't remember it, let me tell me if I got this right. You down fourteen seven. Is that fourteen zip with about five minutes left. Okay, so you score, make it fourteen seven. Ye, getthe ball back. What is it? Fourth and goal from about the twentyeight. Yep, so we were fourteen nothing. Finally we were going todrive put a score together. Five minutes left. They got it back.Drove whatever we pointed us. We got it back with two and a halfleft. Two minutes twenty eight seconds left. Throw a pass, complete it.We're on our own thirty. Throw another pass, intercepted to twenty eight. Games over right. They get the ball back. How do you feelafter? Demoralized, you know, but again, just kind of big thingthat as a quarterback on don't the gust if you had the same kind ofthing. When I made a mistake, I missed to miss a pass throughan interception, fumbled. I was be damn if I am gonna go getan interception back or knock your head off and try to get the ball back. So had that opportunity. We got the ball back. They ran athree times time out. Time Out, time out. They pointed to usthrough the endzone. We got it our own twenty. I think there's aminute thirty now left. We had no timeouts. Back to those winds,right into our faces, thirty mile an hour right at us through a pastfive yards. Next play put Lavar Rton out is like a wide receiver througha deep post. They a safety back their plane cover three. I chuckedit down the middle right over the safety, said Lamar Cod. It got downto about the five yard line. Wow. So clock stops because ofthe first time. We get down there. First snap we run a sweep tothe left. Are Starting. This is key. Now our starting receiver, who came on the motion and got the sweet broke his ankle. Sotime out. He Ka, he goes off. I was about a toomany thing. Broke his ankle. He goes off. So that's our startinginside receiver. I'll come back to that in a second. Next place.So its second and goal at the five. We call pass play. We geta holding call back about twelve yards. Another ten. So now it secondgoal, replay the down at the twenty eight yard line. Second Down, third down, incomplete, incomplete smells. Fourth and goal to twenty eight yardline, going in. So we're four, four, four wide.So two by two we call just four verticals, you know, and againit's back. Then mostly all cover three. So you're going to work one ofthose two inside receivers like look off the safety step up. Probably shouldhave another holding call. The same kid that got beat before. Right kidgoes flying by me. I step up, throw it to the receiver who wasa sub, Chris Fiola in for our starting receiver, kind of andagain being a sub, as a running a vertical on down the field,just puts a look into the quarterback. He was going down. He actuallyturned to the outside. As he turned, I threw it to his inside hip, which made him purouette, hit him on the hip stock, whichcaused the safety to kind of overrun him. He won right inside of them andwalked in the end zone. Wow. So that made one thousand, fourhundred and thirteen. And again has the back up receiver. Where youthe holder? We decide to go for two again, you go for toJack McCurry. He was always the innute. Yep, we're gonna go for thewin. He he went and he did it in eighty six. Theyear before they wanted all at at three were stadium and in eighty five hewent. He kicked it, kick or hit the upright. They lost sevensix. The next year they went for it one hundred and forty two andmissed it and up losing it. It was three years in a row thereat the stadium and then the next year they end up win it all ineighty seven. But so that's the kind of the history behind him. Sowe went for to actually called a play. Walked up to the line after webread was a pass play. As we were walking up, I calledthe guys back in deside to change the cadence get him a draws. Alldraw off sides. So we walked up, drew them off sides. I've actuallymoved up to the one and a half yard line. It was aspeed option to the right. took the ball and just kept it myself kindof untouched. They pinched everything down and that was it. One thousand fivehundred and fourteen. They got the ball back, ran a play through it. I intercepted it and kind of sealed it and was it and he interceptedit to sell the game. I didn't know that part. Yeah, wow, that's so. You go through this amazing high school career. You're gettingrecruited, right. What schools were recruiting... Yeah, so back inthe day, I mean probably one of the bigger recruits in the state ofPennsylvania was a great gatorade player of the year. So she had press playerthat you're all that stuff. The the thing back then, as you know, and you you fit the mold exactly. You were an NFL quarterback, bigtime talent and obviously you had the height back then. I didn't.I was six foot and back in the day when we came out, that'skind of what they've really really looked for. So a lot of schools kind oftold me what I wanted to hear that because I was pretty stuck onemails. A pretty good defender, I'll stuck on being a quarterback, right. And so, when it was all said Downe I visited Pitt Penn State, Georgia Tech, Michigan State and Syracuse. They were the five schools I visited. You know, I'd letters and we always joke should a went toshould of went to Hawaii and UCLA. But again, all Crete, Washington, all Colorado. I didn't really don't know about them, right, there'sno internet. Yeah, and what do you know? You knew what youwatched, maybe on Channel Four, maybe maybe you caught a bowl game theyear before. She really didn't know. I mean these kids are sucked atsuch an advantage nowadays because they can do their homework. We don't know anybodygot letters and you got all excited and it was warm. It's about it. Yeah, maybe. And you know, I knew again, listen away.Yeah, being a family guy, I knew deep down I wasn't goingto go far away and I end up choosing pit, staying close to home. What was that? What made that decision? I say pray was abig they were. They were too, but it was a lot more.Again, told me, told me what I wanted to hear, that Iwas going to have a chance to compete at the quarterback position. Pence.They wanted me to play that, that rover position, their hero position thatthey have made famous. Yeah, so that's kind of what made the decisionfor me. I thought it was going to go in there and compete andand then the head coach of pit, Johnny Majors, was the head coachat the time. That's when they kind of he came back for the secondtime. Right, right, there's a little excitement in the program my jaredMiller, who we mentioned earlier. He's on my staff now, good friendof mine. He was actually at pit there and he was there for Ithink Johnny's first inaugural or second, his second year was a Johnny's first yearthere, but brought a lot of excitement back to the back to the programand, you know, back to the winning years of the late s.A pit. But two days and I was moved over to the defense sideof the ball. So forget about what they sent during the recruiting yeah,I think I tell you, tell you what you want to hear until youget there and then, well, what one thing, and I've talked withjaring about this, the teams you guys played on together. It didn't havea ton of success, but do a lot of talent. The amount ofthe NFL players, it's incredible. You wrote them all down here. Imean there's a whole bunch. We were Curtis Martin, Tom Tumul team,Mike Mourning, has Ruben Brown, Rubin, Ruben Brown Yo play. Jerry Oh, yeah, he was there. Yeah, my freshman near their lawlost some modelock those ton billy West had a huge career. I mean allthese NFL guys, Tom Barne, go on and on and on and thenjust I think my freshman with your four and seven Anton door stept. Fourand seven, three and eight, two and nine were my first three years. Well, so it was. It was going from a you know,the success we had nice school and State Championship and going there. It waskind of it was tough, you know, and thank God. I mean wehad to change and Johnny Majors Awesome, awesome man, awesome for the program, but his staff on him wasn't wasn't the best, you know.And Yeah, Walt Harris came in and had some fire and brought a greatstaff in and you know, we we overachieve because a lot of that talentwas gone. But we've had a good core group of guys at wanted towin and we ended up showed to want a big east. You know,we lost the Syracuse Donna, Donovan Mc ad through a fade with about thirtyseconds left in the corner of the endzone. A PIT stadium to beat us,or we would have been the big east champs. Well, well,that goes back to everything we talked about all the time. Right, youcould have all this talent, even even in the world of an EP likeremember Kevin was telling some of that. You could have a lot 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 you havea group like your high school group, Yep, that hey, we gotall this stuff, but we work as one, no doubt can achieve anyit's amazing. Same thing you did your senior year. It's amazing what youget a group of people together that can all come together for a common goodbigger than themselves, and that's so important that everybody's all especially nowaday it's allabout your themselves. You know, me and me and twitter and social mediaand I'm blessed to have this offer and blessed as it. I mean,it's crazy, but get what you can can accomplish when everybody gets on thesame page. It's all rown in the same direction with the same common good, and meet care more about you than I do about myself. Right,you know, and us as a team that we're going to be able to, you know, accomplish this. It's incredible. What was the biggest contrastbetween majors and then having Wall Harris? That's a great question. I thinkjust that that I don't say a player coach, but he was a lotmore involved jumper coach. Major's an awesome man, you know, love themforever, but he wasn't that involved. He was. He was the figureheadand and maybe that's all they did it back in the day. Ellenberger upin the yeah, he sat, he sat in the bleachers. Yeah,and then the coaches did the things. And you know, I don't wantto say he wasn't that involved at the time, he wasn't that involved.And you know, if everything underneathan wasn't clicking, when one malt came inand what was awesome. You know,...

...he got a bad rap in themedia and you know, for whatever, but he want a lot of footballgames here. I can't believe they got rid of them. But he wasa great mentor of mine to see and how he did things and how heran that offense and ran the team. And you know, like I said, we were thirty second from being big East Champs and a lot of thatwas just because of was because of a lot of the names on that list. That was early in my career. Pit We had just some normal guysthat didn't play an NFL but just, you know, came together and playfor each other. Was that Pekins? All? Yep, Pekins, allthis was. This was the quarterback. He still isn't it are right hedoes. He lives up about ten miles from me. Yeah, because Ithink he coaches quarterbacks. Right, yeah, right, yeah, and they're nota lot of NFL guys. You know, a lot of US hadsome tryouts and whatnot, but Antonio Bryant was after. Yeah, that wasafter that, after Yep. So well, you know, one thing that wetalked about all the transitions, and so you had a little like UKfrom high school. You want to play quarterback and I'll send your own defense, and you probably had to get over that a little bit. Yeah,and that was probably very tough to do, because I know what I got recruited. Some places wanted me to play defense. Only there's no way I'm, yeah, playing defense. So I had to go somewhere. I knewtoll us was going to let me throw the Ballon and all that stuff.But how was that like? How did you deal with that? Mentally?It was difficult. I mean it it first it was like wow, youknow I'm going to get a chance because you know, early on I competedand I end up being I started the first game my freshman year as asa nickel, nickel package, so I played maybe twelve snaps or playing universityat Texas, running back on that side of the guy named Priests Holmes,and then his backup came in. I think his name was Ricky Williams.Remember that name? Yeah, so a couple pretty good dudes and I'm outthere playing nickelback as a true freshman, playing defense. So at the time, at first, I was kind of excited just because I was playing outwhatever it takes to help the team. But, you know, from anego standpoint, yeah, it was. It was tough a little bit.You know, I know I'm better in these guys and just give me ashot. And, like I said back then, with you know, there'sa certain mold they wanted and I didn't fit that. But ultimately, youknow, I learned a lot of lessons from that and was able just tokind of persevere and continue on wherever I could help the team. How'd yourfamily handle that, because they're so behind you? Yeah, they were fine. I mean, you know, just said all the right things and youknow, again, it's ultimately is as much as I might not elected,it was about the team and doing whatever the coach of thought was best atthe time, you know. So that was kind of my goal there.But yeah, had an awesome career. I wouldn't change anything. I meanI had to end up tearing my ACL my junior year. Yeah, third, third play of the game out Ohio state, which again the rule changeis kind of hurt me. Three plays or I would have got a medicalredshirt. Oh yeah, so I was that if you played in three gamesyou were ineligible. So third player at high state, Eddie George, brokefree and again non contact. I came down from my safety position to hithim and put my foot in the ground, not that I would add. I'mprobab would have missed her. He would have ran me over. Well, he was a rather big humor. Was Big, but I put myfoot in the grind to attempt to tackle him and it just blew out.And well, he can win in the final like six thousand zero. Yeah, so bad. You can kind of just like easy way, only Iwasn't a part of that one. Did you play that game? Well,so now you you're finishing college and you're getting ready to take those next steps. What was it? Would you go after college? What was your nextstep? Yeah, so for you, like like anybody, I think mostpeople to play collegiate football. They have dreams and aspiration to be an NFLand after my career I couple injuries and didn't quite ever get back to whereI was and had a couple tryouts and not much worked out and I justhad some great mentors. It pit with Walt Harris, coach Junko, coachCoyer, who was in the NFL for a number of years of defense coordinator, just trying to figure out what I want. I knew I wanted tobe involved with athletics and Sports. I couldn't play anymore. A lot ofguys coach would come up and say you make a good coach, and soI kind of took that to heart and my decision right there was should Igo the college route, the Ga type thing, and try to go thatroute or go into high school again? I had such a great high schoolcareer and being close to my family and whatnot. You know, I hadan education background throughout. So I had a feeling that if I wasn't goingto play, I'd be a coach and that's kind of where it went.And you know, a couple of mentors I had said, you know what, college is awesome at all, but it's tough. You know it's toughon your family and traveling and you know the instability of it. So Idecided the time they to go the high school route and the rest of history. I went back to my alma mater at Pitt and or at North Hills, coach there for ten years and then mom at Pimerson. That must havebeen a tough transition going from your Alma Mater, your legend there, you'venyou're teaching there. Yep, you're coaching there, and then you have togo to not necessarily a rival. Yeah, but I wouldn't say it was topfields, more just yeah, I guess. I guess tough. Itwas more just like scary because we were very in every year. I wasat North Hills from ninety nine through two thous that we want nine games everyyear. Yeah, nine or more right. So very successful playoffs every year,but we never got off your Hump. We couldn't beat the the at thetime it was the mckey sports the Woodland Hills is in the world.You know, Prestons in there when you arrived or was. Yeah, okay, statium was built in two thousand and one. I got didn't get thereuntil eleven. Claire ultimates at the time...

...was the head coach. I workedunder him for two years as a coordinator and then he retired. I meanthat's an impressive blaze. It looks awesome. Call it is, yes, reallybetter than a lot of small colleges for so they can. Pine Ritchenbecame what it is from two different schools, counting Armstrong is now right where Iwent, because I for Tinny kitanion combined. Well, no, itwas always richland and I think pine was just farms. It was all threewere trees. Those out of Ada. They bring it another building houses inthe two thousand and one, maybe a nine. I could be off ayear two. They kind of came together and made pine rischland. It wasalways richling high school and Til I think like ninety nine, and then PineWretchlan when they built this, built the school in the stadium. So whenyou first went there, like how many kids are on the team? Verysimilar to North Hills. I mean even to this day it's not much bigger. Sixty sixty kids. Yeah, nine, ten through twelve, and even tothis day we're maybe five more, sixty five. It's still because thehouse was up there. They build are too big. You know, they'vebuil bit. They build, you know, he's million dollar homes and so there'snot a lot of people think it's so big. We're not. We'rethe second, second from the bottom, and six a here and the whippill. You know. So no matter how where you travel, we always stayingthe six A. I think you guys always got to be there. Yeah, that so, so much. Yeah, we're like, you know, woodyhigh and mckeys poured down and five a now right, Yep. Andthat to me was like when I was helping out at central, when thatrivalries were torn apart. That, I think that was hard for a lotof people. Yeah, I mean the North Hills, me growing up,North Hills, north allegany was the biggest rivalry around. That's I mean hated, hate, hatred. They'll play each other anymore. Yeah, you know, and it's now I you know, new rivalries were created as kids comeand go and but us as old timers look back. Yeah, that's it'stough. Yeah, we used to go through that when when jared was atyou know, it was called Armstrong. Said, YEP, it was containingin Fort City and they combined and then all these people from both places,mostly for city, were like well, no, we're for city, wedon't want to be you know already. You know and and, which wasstupid, which I never agreed with, and we fought to keep it consolidatedbecause you're going to get better athletic or better classes, better everything. Andthen they ended up consolidating and then here we come back up again, twelveyears later or fifteen years later, whatever it is, and they, youknow, they come back and do it again and create Armstrong and I thinkthe better. It was like, well, a year, though, wasn't it? Two years? I think. Yeah, I played them mills myit's like sophomore, junior year, okay, and they were good. They hadgood talent and all they're tough kids. Yeah, well, Jard always holdthe record for touchdown catches because it'll never exist again or, as ashe'll tell you, a best tight end the side of Mississippi. Yeah,I think I heard that about the third hour I met him. So you'vehad a great career at Pine Ritchland. You know, we don't need togo through all your staffs because I think people know what you've done there.But year after year you're putting out amazing teams. And so if you lookback at all the people that you learned your coaching skills from and from whenyou were a little to now, what do you think was the best thingyou've ever learned? Definitely taken the best attributes, like I said, fromcoach McCurry and high school, and then in coach majors and coach Harris,from my father growing up. Just trying to take the best things from allthose men that kind of had influence on me and making my own and andultimately, you know, I've kind of just like you guys in your Professionsand in Mine and coaching. Got To be yourself. When it's all saiddone, you got to be yourself. So just being genuine, you know, caring about the kids. They got it. They ain't gonna play foryou if they don't know you care about them, you know. So Ithink that's the number one thing. Surrounded myself with the great staff. Mystaff is incredible. We've been together now six years. Not One change onthe varsity staff. You know, I think when you when you look inthe NFL and you see the success of steelers had there for a number that'sthat continuity. Like with the Rooney's and one up. So that's something thatI think so important that we have that that, you know, continuity theirstaff. You know, I'm not the smartest guy around, but I knowsurround myself with good, smart people. You know, the care about kids. You know, I talking about like just, you know, hiring somebodyor bringing somebody in to talk to the kids. The biggest thing that Icare about is just it. You know, they're there for the kids and theycan they show they care about them. So yeah, well, you know, that's what exciting about high school sports is. You have you havea good year one year and wrap it up, throw it away, let'sdo it again. You still have a lot of alumni to come back andyeah, that's that's rewarding. You know there you know, you get outthere and like right now, Andrew Christophic, who's at Notre Dame, he wentup early. He was back working out at the place. I getguys texting me all the time to come back and work out the facilities.They'll come back on Friday nights when they can and it's cool to see.And I and heck even on my staff, of my fourteen guys on staff now, any eight or paid. But...

I've all those guys on staff.I think there's six, five or six that played for me, a couplemy ex quarterbacks, couple guys that played for me at North Hills, tothat played for me at Pine's great and I think that makes it special toand adds that family atmosphere that you know. Let's let's face it, I thinkall sports are good, but there's nothing like football and that that teamatmosphere. Now I agree. I agree with that and I love coaching.Is for the kids, right, and one of my favorite stories when Iwas coaching FT in in St Louis that John Burrows. I mean I hadtwo incredible athletes, Ezekiel Elliott, a little my athletes, and then FoyaLuke on, who's The linebacker who we interviewed last week for the Falcons.I mean two amazing athletes, but and they have great stories. But Oneam I in the school? Four hundred total? Yeah, totally had twentyeight kids on my team. Chiefs for one thing. That just rings true. kind of on the same lines as we won the state championship in seventeenand obviously everybody knows about Field Drakovic in the high school talent and he wasn't. He's Notre Dame now and he was obviously a very high end kid.But the rest of the the rest of that team, that senior class,I think when he had maybe four kids that went on to play college football, including Phil. So my point with that is that the best teams thatI've had have been teams that are made up of just kids that similar tothe one you were talking about. They just loved it and loved to playfor each other and we're just kind of normal high school kids it. Lovedto play for practice early, never wanted to leave that field and they weren'tany big time stars. And we've had a cup. Last year we hadit. We had you know, we won the Whippio but we lost inthe state semis. But this past years I think we're going to send twelvekids to college. Yeah, so that team was good, but I didn'tcompare to the team in seventeen just because, you know, it's amazing, likekind of back we talked about earlier what you can accomplish when you gotall these kids that are had the same goals in mind. Right. Youknow, I'd want kid that scored three touchdown didn't score touchdown the whole yearand get in the playoffs. Officer, and he had three touchdowns on onegame to the next and didn't phase him. Who you know, he's just ateam player and who whoever's turn it was, they didn't care. Right. So I think it's important. Do your kids. Now, I knowyour son plays football. You've three. Are they you produce me in therecoaching their teams or like? How does that work? Yea. So mydaughter, my oldest, she's fast pitch softball and she's an awesome, awesomeathlete. She works so hard at it. I've never coached her. No,I'm the dad that sits there and just be's it. That is adad, which is awesome. My youngest daughter, she's in competitive cheer,which is as big as football is in western Pennsylvania. Competitive cheers a lotof traveling, a lot of traveling a lot of time and you know,she's three, four days a week doing that and loves it. But myson, no, to answer question, I've never, never really coached them. And you football. I just wanted to kind of yeah, be adad. You you know growing up in baseball, wrestling. No, Inever, never really coached know, we work together. You know, obviously, you know in the yard at home and we'll go to the field anddo something. But no, I just want to kind of because I'm eventually, hopefully, going to get a chance to coach him. Right now,so growing up. I don't just want to be a dad. What positionis he play right now? He's a quarterback and you know, safety,you know, but if he doesn't start growing a little bit, will bea full backer, you know, running back or something real quick. Butnow he again, he's an awesome Kiddie. He works really hard. I lovesit, you know. So I hope he could at least, youknow, just if anything, take take my love for the game out ofit when I'm long gone. Was Jen and athlete. Jen, I wasa cheerleader, but she also rent track. Okay, yeah, hopefully I thinkthe kids got her speed bloodlines are there right. So one last question. So Do you have aspirations of coaching at a higher level? Yeah,I think ultimately I would like to get that opportunity. You know, I'vepassed on some opportunities up until this point. Nothing has been right yet, butyou know, I'm in a very good situation of Pine Wretch and Ilove what I do. It's a great, great place to raise a family.You know, I got a coach with some of my best friends.You know, I am able to be here with my kids, able togo to their activities. I'm still able to get home most nights by five, five six clock, right. I know if I went to college route, and a lot of that's going to change and it's, you know,a change financially. Obviously it would be a lot better from from a challengeaspect as a football coach. would be it would be. It will bebetter, but I don't know if as a you know, the life wouldbe better, right, you know, but yeah, it's definitely out thereand the right situation comes along, I'll definitely listen. We're going to gothrough our no huddle segment here with Eric and we're going to fire some questions. So, Dave, once you start out. All right, Eric,if you could treat places with any athlete in history for one day, whowould that be? Well, I'M gonna go with my gun and who cameto mind. We talked about this a lot. Like if you couldn't bea pro football player, that'd be all well and good. I mean youdid it, but injuries, right, and it's a grind. I thinkI want to be a professional golfer.

So I think I'd say Tiger Woods. You know, a lot of such highs, such lows. But againnow, especially what happened recently, to come back and to be back atthe top, I think I'd say times. Your Golf game kind of similar mygolf game. One day I'm going to be a really good Golfer.Ands just don't have time and a gus stuff while I put it for mytickets the other day. Actually, yeah, yeah, yeah, I've been downto about a six handicap. I go out to that I'll probably I'mprobably like a twelve. You know, I can, you know, makesome parers make called Birdie's, but I just don't play enough. But that'sdefinitely when I when I retire, I got a play to be yeah,no, do what your favorite course around here? Oak Mont's awesome pebble beacheson the bucket list. I played Tory Pines. I was awesome. Gallowayin New Jersey is an awesome private course. I'd say Oak monsous because I've playedit and I know every hole just from watching it on TV. Yeah, great place. It is a great place. So you've been a coach, a player, a father, son, all these things. What's your biggestpet peeve? Who? Disorganization. You know, I think that's onething I'm like. I said, I'm not very smart and I'm not verygood at a lot of things, but there's one thing I like is justorganization. If you say going to be somewhere, be there. If yousay going to be here on that time, be on time. Not that everything. There's nothing worse than when practice is unorganized right and you don't know. Nobody knows where they're going. I was always my pinion. Yeah,use if you're coaching and guys don't know where they're doing, or if youget guy assignment he's not paying attention a hundred percent, it drives you crazy. I've been on vacation with Eric and I think everything is down to theminute. I'm sure. Yeah, when dinner start, beat, let's go. We gotta get a dinner, right. When do you get freshened up andthe good at dinner? That's all it's all down. So this isalways a good one. So if they were making a movie about you,who would who would play Eric Cas Broach and movie. Well, Cheez,we'll say Tom Hanks. Look, see, they know he's versatil. He's he'syou know again, you know, he very can do with a bunchof different things. I'm picturing the force gump aspect. He was, youknow, a bunch of different takes it. It's fast, good at Ping Pong. Yeah, you know, I met a bunch of presidents all theworld. Right, yeah, how about your favorite Pittsburgh restaurant? Who?Obvious answer, right, for Mann. He's man. Yeah, forms well, we have a really good one he's going to try, which is acorn. My Friend Chef Scott Walton, who lives up okay, but we're goingto give you a gift certificate for color. Awesome. What's it called? ACORN? It's called ACORNS and shady side. So something take jen there that maybewe can change his mind. What do you think? Dave, you'vehad the burghers there. It's there unbelievable awesome point yet so we're very thankfulthey're responsor but if they even if they warn us by yeah, it'd besome mine was very mine was a very pitts bargain said, good place uthingnear us. Awesome little restaurant, Calli Lily. Oh Really? Yeah,awesome, incredible little spot right in Gipsonia. So Nice. Look got on thelist buffalo bills. Oh yeah, by the trip. Come up toa game, you go over to it's real good spot. Yeah, absolutely. How about the loudest stadium you played in as a player? As aplayer, I that's a easy Texas Universe, University of Texas longhorn stadium. Incredible, just straight up. I mean it looks like this room here,just walls straight up, no track right on top of you couldn't hear things. They love their opponents, don't the awesome throwing stuff at you. Itwas that burnt orange everywhere. They got that big. What is it?A steer whatever, or Longhorn it whatever is, whatever his name is.He's I mean it was awesome experience, all right. Louder than the Horseshoe? Yeah, because the horse shoot the time was open. That's it wasopen when I played there. Let's escape right. Awesome venue. Visually.Yeah, Miami was again awesome visually, but I don't know. They werereally good into late S, but the stadium never got packs. It wasoff campus. A wonderful old orange. Yeah, yeah, it was kindof look disappointing that way, as they're a little finicky. Yeah, lastquestion for in the huddle. Okay, no, Huddle Day. You knowwhich one we're going to ask. Well, okay, out of everyone who's inyour phone, who's the most interesting or Famis? Whoo, I thinka Lott of PRI that I got. I got a bunch of maybe famouspeople who give us take a top three, top three real it's like, well, wow, it's like it's stays good. It all comes back tolike the the organization part. Right, I got a name. I'm goingto keep that thing forever. Right. Ben Roethlisberger. There's no, there'sone that's a big one, big one. Mike Toml and I'm in the stealertree here. Yeah, Sidney Crosby. Of Him. What it was aboutoutside of Pittsburgh sportsm yeah, I...

...don't know, let me think aboutmight get'll come to me as we that's a finish reading. Yeah, I'lltake that three. So back we were talking about social media a little bit. I have no idea why she followed me, but on my twitter aboutthis about him two months ago, sold out. O'Brien. Yeah, bigtimer on. I'll see nn or something. Yeah, book my twitter I tofollow followed me out of nowhere, which I've no idea why, youknow, probably through some other organization, but she follows me at it.We're sitting on a catchular show my daughter out. Well, she followed meon twitter, whatever that's worth. Great. Well, Hey, thanks for color. She show very much to get a shuttle with us. Thank you. That's IT, folks, and we'll see you next time.

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