Obituary: Jacob G. ‘Jake’ Cappa / Longtime football coach at Riverview High School
Aug. 2, 1945 - May 26, 2014
May 28, 2014 11:42 PM
Former Riverview High School head football coach Jake Cappa, center, during practice in August 2000
By RJ Schaffer / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jacob G. Cappa touched many lives in the classroom, on the football field and in his community.
He was known to most as "Jake," and many called him "Coach." He taught physical education at Riverview High School for 35 years, was the athletic director for 20 years and head football coach from 1986-2001, compiling a 129-59-6 record.
Mr. Cappa, 68, died Monday in Canterbury Place Hospice, Lawrenceville.
"He was the kind of person who always put his family first," said Jason Cappa, one of his sons. "He always made sure that everybody else was taken care of."
Mr. Cappa, a resident of Oakmont, was named WPIAL Coach of the Year in 1997. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
"I think he stayed in football for so long because he had a passion for the game," Jason Cappa said. "He really enjoyed being able to teach so many people and gain so much experience from it." He said his father took pride in influencing students' lives "but he never would have tried to take any recognition from the things he did."
Despite being both a coach and a teacher, Mr. Cappa always made sure he had time for his family, Jason Cappa said. "My brothers and I are teachers, and we were wondering how he was able to get everything in. We talk about it all the time, with being teachers and having families, about where he found the time to do all of these things."
Mr. Cappa was a man who enjoyed community life and being outdoors. His hobbies included fishing, playing sports, watching his sons coach football and talking about sports with his sons.
Jason Cappa and his two brothers have become coaches themselves. Jason was hired in January to become the next head coach at Riverview, and John will be his offensive coordinator. Jeff is a guidance counselor and coach at a Philadelphia-area high school.
"He didn't necessarily influence us [getting] into coaching football, but growing up on the sidelines with him, he just wanted us to do what we wanted to do as far as our own passions and our own interests," Jason Cappa said. "He never pushed anything on to us."
Mr. Cappa graduated from Connellsville High School in 1963, There, he met his future wife, Lois Pecora. They were married for 48 years.
In addition to his wife and sons, Mr. Cappa is survived by five grandchildren and two sisters. He was preceded in death by a son, Jacob M.
Friends can call from 3 to 8 p.m. today at Burket-Truby Funeral Home, 421 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont. Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Friday in St. Irenaeus Catholic Church, 387 Maryland Ave., Oakmont.
Memorials donations may be made to St. Margaret's Oncology, 200 Delafield Road, Suite 3050, Pittsburgh 15215 or the Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania, 1158 Dutilh Road, Mars, PA 16046.
RJ Schaffer: RSchaffer@post-gazette.com or 1-772-341-3265.