East Xtra: Coach carries winning tradition to Valley


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Coach Muzzy Colosimo's Valley Vikings.

Sounds a little bit off, doesn't it?

Well, it's not. The Muzzy Era is officially on at Valley.

Colosimo, who had tremendous success in 17 seasons at Greensburg Central Catholic before parting ways with the school prior to the 2012 season, is in his first season at Valley. He was hired in January and was then named the school's athletic director last month.

The landscape is a little different and the travel time to New Kensington from his Irwin home -- about 40 minutes -- isn't ideal, but Colosimo has adjusted to his new surroundings nicely -- even figuring out where to satisfy his cravings off the field.

"I've found all the best places to eat," Colosimo said, joking. "Being [at Greensburg C.C.] for 17 years, you're in a familiar area. Here it wasn't too familiar, but I'm catching on. The kids are amazing. The people are great. I haven't found a lot of dislikes in this area. Truthfully, the transition has been amazing."

Colosimo amassed a 143-45 record at Greensburg C.C. He led the Centurions to the WPIAL Class AA championship game three of his final seven seasons, guiding the program to its first title in 2009. The Centurions finished as the PIAA runner-up that season.

But as great as Colosimo's teams were performing on the field, his relationship with the school had become rocky his final few seasons. He was suspended from coaching a WPIAL playoff game for undisclosed reasons -- one of several times he had been suspended over the years, he said -- and there was an alleged hazing incident in the summer of 2012 involving some of the players while at a 7-on-7 tournament. That August, Colosimo was told he would not be retained as coach.

Colosimo didn't stay out of coaching very long. He was an assistant at Seton Hill University for a season and then head coach at Renaissance Christian Academy in the East Hills. He was also a coach for the Pittsburgh Passion for two seasons.

Colosimo said it wasn't easy leaving Greensburg C.C., but that he will always have great memories from his time there.

"It was tough because you give someone 17 years of your life and really help turn that program around," Colosimo said. "First of all, I didn't think I'd get that job because I had never been a head coach before. But because of them, I got put into [Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association] Hall of Fame. So I can't be too mad. But I'm having so much fun now that I don't even think about [the departure at Greensburg C.C.] anymore."

Itching to become a high school head coach again this fall, Colosimo said he interviewed for jobs at Gateway, Latrobe and Valley. Of those jobs, Colosimo said that the Valley position particularly appealed to him, one reason being that he had coached there before. He was the offensive coordinator at the school under Ray White in 1994, the year before taking the Greensburg C.C. job.

"Getting here, I saw that the place was perfect for me," Colosimo said.

Valley's program appears to be on an upswing after suffering through a rough stretch. When the 2012 season began, Valley found itself saddled with a 22-game losing streak. But the Vikings finished 6-4 and advanced to the WPIAL Class AA playoffs each of the past two seasons. However, Chad Walsh was not asked back after two seasons as coach.

The Vikings are hoping Colosimo will make them a perennial playoff team. Colosimo's staff includes his son, Will, as the offensive coordinator, and Frank Blair as defensive coordinator.

"I don't like to lose at anything. If I'm playing Monopoly with my wife and she's beating me, I throw the board on the floor," Colosimo said, laughing.

Colosimo, 63, said he is ready for his next challenge, perhaps his final as a head coach.

"I'm hoping at least seven years," he said. "I'd like to coach until I'm 70."


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