Nick Revis remembers what It was like to be part of a winning football program.
As a junior at Norwin High School, Revis played on a team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA championships.
When he was a sophomore at St. Vincent College in 2011, the Bearcats advanced to the ECAC Southwest Bowl where they fell to Lebanon Valley College to finish with a record of 6-5.
Since then, however, victories on the Latrobe campus for a team that plays at picturesque Chuck Noll Field have been nonexistent. Two successive winless seasons prompted the administration to make a coaching change with Ron Dolciato, a former top assistant at John Carroll University near Cleveland, taking over for the deposed Bob Colbert.
"[The losing] is definitely frustrating," said Revis, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior linebacker. "I think the new coaching staff is going to help us turn it around. We have the athletes to do it."
Revis said Dolciato's approach is a welcome one for the Bearcats.
"He just brings a different attitude to the team with a different atmosphere," he said. "He's positive, and I think he's going to bring a more modern offense to help our team win and make the offense a lot better than what it has been the last few years."
Revis will be able to watch the offense at work as he will be on the sidelines watching the Bearcats' no-huddle offense. When he is on the field, he hopes to continue the solid play that marked his season last year with 57 tackles, 35 of them solo.
He expects the defensive line also to be effective.
"Our defensive line has been productive the past few years," he said. "We did have a lot of injuries on the defensive line. This year, we're going to have a bigger rotation with a lot of freshmen coming in to play on the defensive line. I think they are going to help us get some more stops."
Revis expects that some of the 65 incoming freshmen are going to have a memorable first season in Latrobe.
"Some of them are going to come in and start," he said. "If they work hard, learn the plays and do what they have to do, we'll gladly have them on the field."
Revis welcome the opportunity to provide some guidance for his younger teammates. He remembers what it was like when he was new to the Bearcats' program, and he is grateful for the insight he received from his older teammates. Now, it's his turn to pass along his knowledge about Bearcats football.
"The past few years, I've been in the background," he said. "I'm not a [vocal] leader, but I lead by example. I'm not real loud, but I want them to do what I do, which is work hard and play my best."
Dolciato's first game will feature his new team visiting Cleveland to play John Carroll, a perennial contender in the NCAA Division III Ohio Athletic Conference, on Sept. 6. Revis knows there's no way in sugarcoating the challenge the Bearcats face in the opener.
"It's going to be a tough game, but we're excited," he said. "We're going to test our new offense and our new defense. They're going to push us, and we're going to push right back. I think we can stick with them as a team."