Curry, Minnich among 10 coaches being inducted into the PSFCA Coaches Hall of Fame
Written by: Billy Splain on May 6, 2021.
Due to the pandemic in 2020, the PSFCA didn’t hold a Coaches Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year, they’re bringing in a large class of ten coaches.
The induction ceremony will take place on Sunday May 30 at 1pm. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions this event will not be open to the public. Media requests can be sent to Nicole Whitmire firstname.lastname@example.org
This years class includes:
George Curry grew up in the coal-mining town of Larksville, Pennsylvania. He attended St. John’s Parochial Elementary School and then Larksville High School. George Curry received a football scholarship to Temple University, where he earned his B.S. Degree in Social Sciences. He attended The University of Scranton, where he received his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision.
He became the winningest coach in Pennsylvania history with 455 wins, 6 State Championships, and 3 National Champions in USA Today. Coach Curry was all about education and getting millions of dollars in scholarships for his players. Curry was proud of the fact that 78% of his football players who have gone on to higher education have graduated (that is higher than the non-athlete graduation rate). Coach certainly got his players ready for the world. He taught commitment, accountability, leadership, and work ethic. He was also a stern disciplinarian. The players bought into his style!
His overall coaching stint, included four (4) years at Lake Lehman High School, thirty-eight (38) years at Berwick High School, and three (3) years at Wyoming Valley West High School. He coached 12 regular season undefeated teams and had a 47 game regular season winning streak from 1981 to 1985. Curry was named “Coach of the Year” 28 times. The Berwick Bulldogs were named USA Today National Champions in 1983, 1992, and 1995. Curry also coached 13 teams that were ranked in USA Today. Curry coached the Dawgs to Pennsylvania’s first ever State Championship 15-0-0 season. Most of Berwick’s wins during the Curry era came against schools larger than Berwick. Curry and his wife of 48 years, Jacqueline, have four children and six grandchildren.
Mickey Minnich started his career in 1963 as an assistant under George Chaump. When George left to coach at Ohio State in 1967, Mickey assumed the head coaching position in 1968 for four years. In 1977 he became the head coach for Steelton-Highspire and remained there for four years. His record for those eight years was 77- 8-3, and he had one state championship team at each school. His total coaching record of both schools as an assistant head coach is 133 dash 11 dash 5.
He was a head track coach John Harris for three years with only one loss and he won a state championship for three straight years.
Mickey was selected to coach in the Big 33 games twice as head coach and once as an assistant. In 1977 Mickey became active in the PSFCA and in 1979 the Big 33 game left Hershey to be played in Altoona. From 1979 until 1984 Mickey and Gump May were the game director’s.
Mickey was the executive director for the PSFCA for 30 years, from 1977 to 2007 and he was the Big 33 PSFCA game director for six years, from 1979 to 1984. He was also Executive Director for the Big 33 football classic for 22 years, from 1985 to 2007.
Mickey took a sabbatical leave in 1984 to chair the big 30 feet game back in Hershey. After that game Mickey decided to leave education and become Executive Director of the big 33 football classic and continued in that role for 22 years until he retired in 2007.
In is 22 years with the big 33 he raised over $2.5 million for academic scholarships he left the big 33 scholarship foundation with an endowment for scholarships at 700 and $77,000.
Steve Schein is a 1969 graduate of Levittown’s Woodrow Wilson HS. He attended West Chester State and received his B.A. and M.ED degrees in Health and PE. In 1973 Steve began his teaching / coaching career at Spring-Ford High School hired by Coach Merle Bainbridge. In his 10 years at S-F, he assisted in the football and track programs and spent 3 years as Head Wrestling coach. Steve was also active in the community, coaching many youth sports and spent 5 years as President at the SFYAL, overseeing several youth programs.
In 1983, he was hired as the Head Football Coach at Upper Merion High School.
In his 17 years at UM, his teams won 117 games, lost 70, with 6 ties, four Suburban 1 American League titles, and qualified for District 1 playoffs. He was selected Coach of the Year three times and named twice as Head Coach for the Montco All-Star Football Game. Many of his UM players continued to play college football at every level including Villanova, Delaware, Duke, Pitt, Penn State and numerous Division II and Division III programs.
He spent several summers working at football camps, including 17 years at PSU, and has been active in USA Football. After retiring as Head Coach in 2000, he came back as UM defensive coordinator under Coach Andy Toto for 2 years. Steve then returned home to Spring-Ford and assisted Gary Rhodenbaugh for 7 seasons, working first as Defensive Coordinator and then Offensive Coordinator. During this time period he organized the first S-F youth football camp and was a founding father of the S-F Youth Football and Cheerleading program, serving 5 years as its first president. He is currently working on Coach Chad Brubaker’s staff at Spring-Ford High and will begin his 47th season on the sideline this fall.
Ken Salem is a graduate of Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, PA (1987), Saint Francis University (1991/2006), and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1998). Ken was blessed to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Steve Petro, who was a legendary football player, coach, and administrator at the University of Pittsburgh.
Ken began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the freshmen football team at Bishop McCort. He later joined Hall of Fame Coach Frank Krevetski as a varsity assistant coach in 1993. Ken was named Head Coach at Bishop McCort in 1996, becoming the youngest head coach in the school’s history at age 25.
Ken led the Crimson Crushers for fifteen seasons, never registering a losing season. The Crushers qualified for the District playoffs in every season of Ken’s coaching tenure except his inaugural year in 1996. The Crushers also appeared in nine District championship games, winning five championships in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
The Crushers advanced to the Class “A” State Championship in 2009, falling to Clairton High School in Hershey. Ken resigned the football position after the 2010 season to chair a capital campaign for the high school as principal and CEO.
Ken received Coach of the Year Honors nine times, three Tribune Democrat All-Area Coach of the Year Awards (2001, 2006, and 2009), three Southern Allegheny Coaches Association Awards (2001, 2006, and 2009) and three Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Accolades (2006, 2008, 2009). Ken was selected as the head coach in the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Football game in 2002, 2007, and 2010.
Ken continues to volunteer with youth mentoring and sports organizations since retiring from football and is currently an executive with Thomas Automotive. Ken is married to Lee Pelow Salem and together they are proudly raising three boys, Gabe, Jake, and Luke.
Robert “Bob” B. Stem Bob is a graduate of Phillipsburg High School (1958) and Syracuse University (1962).
His scholastic coaching career covered two states and spanned five decades. He coached 19 seasons at Bethlehem Catholic (1983-2001) and another 15 at his alma mater in New Jersey (1973-81; 2005-2010), compiling a 285-98-6 career record with six state championships – two in Pennsylvania and four in New Jersey.
He went 173-55-2 at Bethlehem Catholic with two PIAA state titles (Class 2A 1988; Class 3A 1990). His Bethlehem Catholic teams also won six District 11 titles, including three straight from 1999-2001.
He spent two stints at Phillipsburg and finished a combined 112-43-4 with four NJSIAA state titles (1977, 2005, 2008-2009). His last game as a coach was a 3-0 overtime win over rival Easton on Thanksgiving Day 2010.
He is the winningest coach at both Phillipsburg and Bethlehem Catholic.
He is in the McDonald’s All-Star Football Classic Hall of Fame and the Easton-P’Burg Hall of Fame.
At Phillipsburg, he was an all-state selection as a football player in 1957 and a state champion wrestler his senior year.
He started on the 1959 national championship team at Syracuse, was a two-way starter as a junior and senior and was a three-year letter winner. He captained the 1961 team and was teammates with Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. In 2014, he was honored with Syracuse’s Letter Winner of Distinction Award.
He played professionally with the AFL’s Boston Patriots, who drafted him in 1963, and with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
Bob, a retired elementary teacher of 35 years, lives in Easton with his wife of 58 years, Janice. They have four children (Tammy, Bobby, Trisha and Terri) and five grandchildren (Matthew, Morgan, Tyler, Addison and Elsa).
Andy Evanko Andy is a graduate of Curwensville Area High School and Dickinson College. He became the head coach of Curwensville in the year 2000 after spending 16 years as a junior high coach and a varsity assistant. In his first year he took Curwensville to their first undefeated team in 42 years, won the Allegheny Mountain League Championship, the District 9 Class A Championship and on to the state playoffs, and never looked back. He led the Golden Tide to 34 District 9 playoff games and made it to the District 9 playoffs 17 of his 19 years as head coach, the last 15 in a row. He won three District 9 Class A titles and was runner up three times, He won three Allegheny Mountain League Championships and was runner up three times. He had 15 players named to the Associated Press All State team.
He made it to the final 4 in the state playoff in 2004 and final 8 in the state 3 times. He was presented with the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame “Lifetime Achievement Award”. He has also received the Central Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association
“Hall of Fame Award” in 2005. The Central Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association – Lezzer Lumber Football Classic – North Coach of the Year twice. The “Progress News” Coach of the Year in three times. The “Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express” Coach of the Year three times, and the Allegheny Mountain League – South / Coach of the Year twice.
In 2019 Coach Evanko lost his battle with ALS leaving behind a loving family. He fought ALS the same way he fought every game he coached, right to the final whistle. As a fitting tribute to him the Curwensville football stadium was named Coach Andy Evanko Stadium.
Guy Montecalvo Guy won WPIAL titles as both an athlete and a coach at Washington High School. He is one of a small group of coaches in Pennsylvania to have won PIAA championships in two different sports. Guy earned All-WPIAL and All-State honors and was selected to play in the Big 33 Game in 1973. In his senior year, he was crowned WPIAL Track’s Most Valuable Performer. He earned a football scholarship to Penn State where he played defensive back and earned B.S and M.S. degrees. He began his coaching career as a Graduate Assistant for the Lions in 1978 & 1979.
He became Washington’s football coach in 1980 and compiled a 192-71-2 record in 23 seasons. The Little Prexies won the 1993 and 2001 WPIAL titles and finished as runners-up in 1990, 1995, 1998, and 1999. In the 2001 campaign, Washington went a perfect 15-0 and won WPIAL and PIAA championships. His 1993 team was the PIAA runner-up. Montecalvo also served as head coach of the track teams at Washington. His team captured the PIAA title in 1996, and won WPIAL titles in 1998 and 2000. Guy later coached football at Canon-McMillan High School for seven seasons and finished his career with a 225-107-2 record. The Big Macs qualified for the play-offs four times. Montecalvo also served the Big Macs as Athletic Director and in 2014 was named Pennsylvania Region 4 Athletic Director of the Year.Montecalvo has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports HOF, the WPIAL HOF and the TriCounty Coaches HOF, and was named Washington-Greene County “COY” 11 times, WPIAL “COY” 2 times and PIAA “COY” in 2001. In 2010 he was awarded the WPIAL Track & Field “Lifetime Achievement Award”
He has been married to his wife Marie for 40 years and they have three children: James(deceased), Suzanne(37, husband Joel), and Laura(33). His two daughters were also both WPIAL individual champions, and youngest daughter Laura is also a WPIAL champion basketball coach. The steadfast devotion and sacrifice of his wife Marie, who came from a family of coaches, is the anchor for why any of their success has been possible!
Rick Foust graduated in 1968 from Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School in Foxburg, Pennsylvania, and earned a B. S degree from Clarion State College in 1972. After graduation he started his teaching and coaching career at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio. He was an assistant coach there from 1972-1980, and was named Teacher of the Year in 1978.
In 1980, Rick accepted a position teaching math and coaching football at Homer-Center High School in Homer City, Pennsylvania. He was the head coach for 18 years and recorded 101 wins. His teams won Heritage Conference Championships, two District 6 Championships, and made it to the state quarterfinals in 1994. During this time, he mentored, encouraged, and taught his athletes not only football but accountability and work ethic. This was done with expecting and seeing the best in his players and undoubtably by setting an example. Though it may not have been spoken, the message was clear that Rick expects from his athletes the same level of commitment and leadership he models. Rick is very proud of the accomplishments of many of his players. Rick was named Coach of the Year in the Heritage conference as well as Indiana Gazette and the Blairsville Dispatch during his career. He was also inducted into the Indiana County Sports Hall of Fame.
Rick retired from coaching in 1998. From 1998-2008 Rick served as principal at Homer-Center during which time his building became a Blue Ribbon School. He followed his love of football as a supporter of Homer Center Football and Shippensburg High School where his son, Eric became the head football coach in 2003. In 2008 Rick returned to coaching as an assistant on his son’s coaching staff and is presently the defensive coordinator at Shippensburg High school.
During his 40 years of coaching, Rick had the opportunity to work with many extraordinary people, including school administrators, school board members, fellow teachers and coaches, and most of all dedicated high school football players. Rick has the ability to collaborate with other school and community leaders to help his players not only on the field but also to be better people. Over the last 49 years, Rick has taken advantage of every opportunity to educate or coach a young person to be their best self. Countless people have been motivated and inspired to do better due to his influence. However, none of this would have been possible without the encouragement of his Jane and their children Eric and Katie who have supported him every step of the way.
Al Wolski is a 1968 graduate of Phoenixville High School. Following high school he was a starting offensive tackle on the University of South Carolina freshman team, then transferred to West Chester State College where he was a three year starter, and has since been elected to the schools Football Hall of Fame
He always wanted to be a football coach, and was fortunate to learn from the best. In 1974 and 1975 he was graduate assistant on Joe Paterno’s staff, and two years later would be a full time assistant on Jim Butterfield’s staff at Ithaca College; including being part of the 1979 Division III National Championship team. While at Ithaca he also served as the head lacrosse coach, and led the Bombers lacrosse team to three NCAA Playoff appearances. Between Penn State and Ithaca Wolski coached at Troy High School in the Northern Tier League.
After a brief hiatus from coaching he returned to the sidelines in 1992 as an assistant at Armwood High in Tampa and Deerfield Beach as head coach.
In 1995 he was hired at Reading High School; where he compiled a 65 and 28 record during his nine year tenure. While at Reading his teams featured an option attack that would produce three Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships, and the schools first ever state playoff appearance. His 2003 team posted the first and only 10 win season in school history. He was selected Berks County and Lancaster-Lebanon Coach of the Year on multiple occasions.
Playing in one of the best football towns, best leagues, and one of the best sites for high school football in the state of Pennsylvania, he felt that the State High position was the best job in the state. In 2004 he was named head coach, and in his 10 years he posted an 87 and 41 record, including three twelve win seasons, an undefeated regular season in 2008, and appearance in the 2009 State AAAA final. In addition the Little Lions won two Mid-Penn Championships, several District championships, and made it to three state semi-final games. During his head coaching career he received several Coach of the year honors; coached 11 Big 33 players, while compiling a 159 and 85 record.
Robert Barbieri is a graduate of Old Forge High School (1957) and George Washington University (1962). After his playing career at GW, Robert returned to his alma mater to begin his coaching career under his mentor legendary coach Elio Ghigiarelli for the 1962 and 1963 seasons. Robert was then names to his first head coaching position in 1964 at Pittston High School. After two seasons at Pittston High, Robert was named the Head Coach of the newly formed Pittston Area High School following the merger of Northeast High School and Pittston High School. In his very first game as Head Coach at Pittston Area, Robert faced perennial power Old Forge and his former coach and mentor Elio Ghigiarelli. Barbieri led the Patriots to a 20-14 victory to establish Pittston Area as a program on the rise.
During his twenty-four year coaching career, (1964-1988) Barbieri recorded a record of 150-100-4. His teams won five Wyoming Valley Conference A Division titles and one Eastern Conference Co-Championship. He was named coach of the year twice (1974 and 1981). He was a two-time head coach of the UNICO all-star game (1970 and 1988) and coached in the Big 33 game (1981). His 1967 team went undefeated through the regular season before tying Shikellamy 0-0 in the Eastern Conference Championship game. Throughout his career, Barbieri coached multiple Scholarship athletes who went on to have successful college careers. Most notable is high school All American tailback Jimmy Cefalo, who went on to star at Penn State and played for the Miami Dolphins.
In 2014 the Pittston Area School District honored Barbieri by naming the field house at Charley Trippi Stadium the Robert “Bob” Barbieri Field House. In 2019, Barbieri was inducted into the Luzerne County Hall of Fame. After retiring from teaching and coaching at Pittston Area in 1988, Barbieri joined the coaching staff of Wilkes University as an offensive line coach. Robert and his wife, the late Henrietta Barbieri have two children, Maria Barbieri Jarrell and Nicholas Barbieri, and four grandchildren, Mia Barbieri, Nicholas Barbieri, Robert Barbieri, and Ellie Jarrell.