High School Coach of the Week: David Gueriera
Malvern Prep Football's Head Coach David Gueriera led the Friars to their third victory of the 2022 season on Friday night, overtaking Imhotep Charter in a contested 17-13 win.
Gueriera beamed with pride as the win elevated the squad's ranking to an impressive No. 2 in the state according to MaxPreps. The 3-0 team is well on its way to another winning season, as is routine for the defending Inter-Academic League Champions. The Friars found their footing fast after losing 15 starters to graduation.
Malvern Prep is one of the top teams in the state, ranking high and boasting Division I football prospects each season. But the eliteness of Malvern Prep's well-respected program is not what drives Gueriera's undeniable passion for high school football. Instead, his coaching philosophy stands on the pillars of love, accountability, and service; he's committed to leading his players toward success far deeper than a scoreboard or a stat sheet.
"That's what I'm here for. That's why I got put on this earth," said Gueriera of his coaching career.
Gueriera did not take the beaten path to become Prep's football coach.
He didn't have any college prospects upon graduation from Cardinal O'Hara High School in Delaware County; instead, he enrolled at a Penn State branch, then transferred to the main campus by his junior year. During the summer before his final year as a Nittany Lion, tragedy diverted his plans – his father, Bobby, suffered a heart attack and passed away. Gueriera decided to move back to his Delaware County home to be closer to his grieving mother, Claire.
That's when he found his calling.
"I changed my major. I stayed home. I was definitely lost. But, I had a cousin of mine (Dennis Galvin) who introduced me to coaching football," said Gueriera.
"I love football. I love playing football. So, he got me to start coaching. And then, I got bit with the bug,"
That itch to be a part of football, impacting youth through coaching, stuck with him from his first gig at St. Anastasia Elementary School at 21 years old in the wake of his father's passing, until now, as he coaches his sixth season at Malvern Prep.
His coaching experience has spanned over two decades – he's made stops at programs across the Greater Philadelphia area, including at West Chester East High School, where he broke the team's 10-year playoff drought in his first year at the helm.
"I never thought that I would be a person that could make a positive impact on someone else's life," said Gueriera, reflecting on his journey toward becoming the coach of one of the most powerful football programs in the state.
"But as I got older, I was like, 'Wow, man, I've got a lot of power here. I can really help people.' And I fell in love with that."
He is doing just that at Malvern Prep.
"Malvern Prep football is – what I want it to be is – a hard-working group of guys who love each other. They play for each other. They do it all the right way, they play the right way. They treat others with respect. And I think, regardless of how many D1 offers we have or how many stars any of our guys have, it doesn't matter to us. We play as a team, and we are not individuals, but we play as a team."
Gueriera holds his teams to a high standard – both as young men and as football players; it reflects into success year after year. He is the deserved Philadelphia Eagles High School Coach of the Week, presented by Hyundai.
"I'm trying to make good men here. Ultimately, that's what I want," said Gueriera.
"I want to be competitive in the area. But I want to be as well-respected for being good at football as being good kids off the field."