The players, the staff, and the administration are what drive Strath Haven High School Head Coach Kevin Clancy, who is finishing his 39th season as a coach in the Philadelphia area.
"All the right ingredients have come together," Clancy said.
Clancy started his coaching career as an assistant at Archbishop Carroll right after graduating from West Chester University in 1975. The Carroll alumnus was recruited by his former coach Joe McNichol to help with the program at his alma mater.
In 1991, an opening piqued Clancy's interest at Strath Haven. With a growing family and a desire to continue teaching, he decided to take the head coaching job.
"I was looking for a good public school opportunity," said Clancy, who is also the health and physical education teacher at Strath Haven. "It seemed like the right fit and they felt the same way, so it all worked out."
Teaching is something he has wanted to do since he was a kid, graduating from West Chester with a degree in Health and Physical Education.
It was his coaches and mentors who held the same position that inspired him to take this career path.
"It looked like a great career opportunity," Clancy said. "It looked like I would never be bored, and I was right."
In his 33rd season at the helm for Strath Haven, Clancy's team is marching into the PIAA playoffs with a 9-1 record as they get set to face Great Valley on November 3.
Clancy takes pride in his players being multi-sport athletes. He has had numerous players receive scholarships at Division I schools for sports other than football.
"The fact that they are competing, I believe you learn a lot from that," Clancy said. "They develop poise and a competitive spirit. Those skills carry over to each sport. I definitely encourage my kids to play other sports."
With Strath Haven being a smaller high school, all teams share players, making it easier to play more than one sport. The coaches work together to make sure each sport has enough players.
Along with playing multiple sports, Clancy encourages his players to participate in extracurricular activities like band or theater.
In previous seasons, the Strath Haven football team had members of the band who also were on the team. Last year, Clancy brought his team out of the locker room early to watch one of their captains play trumpet in the band before the game.
"There is no reason why a football player cannot have a theatrical role or be in the band," Clancy said. "It shows that the kids can be multi-dimensional."
Many of Clancy's players have gone on to attend military or service academies. It is all about finding the right fit and for some of his players or students.
"It is a great career opportunity to serve the country," Clancy said. "Most guys have very successful careers while in the military and after they leave."
During his almost four decades as a coach, Clancy has sent six of his players to the NFL. Some were strong prospects who Clancy could have predicted in high school, and others were a surprise.
One of his players, Bert Grossman, played for the Eagles in 1994.
"They had a drive to succeed at every level," Clancy said. "There is a little bit of luck involved, but a lot of hard work. When you see that happen, you are really proud of the players."
Clancy's long-standing commitment to Strath Haven High School makes him the Eagles Coach of the Week! The school will receive a $2,000 grant and Clancy will be entered as a candidate for the Eagles High School Coach of the Year. – Written by Owen Boyle