Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mccurry Resigns after 35 Seasons Successful Coach Is Third on Wpial List for Football Victories

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mccurry Resigns after 35 Seasons Successful Coach Is Third on Wpial List for Football Victories

Article excerpt

Jack McCurry isn't sure if he would like to coach football again. But he is certain his days as North Hills High School's coach are over.

McCurry, who put the North Hills program on the WPIAL football map, resigned Monday night as coach. He coached the Indians for 35 seasons and is one of the most successful coaches in Western Pennsylvania history. He is third on the WPIAL all-time list of victories with a record of 281-108-9. Only Upper St. Clair's Jim Render and Blackhawk's Joe Hamilton have won more games in the WPIAL.

"I don't know what I'm going to do yet. Maybe call it a semi- retirement," McCurry, 63, said. "I'm going to take some time off, travel with my wife [Beth] and go to Florida for a few weeks and maybe a couple other places, just doing things I haven't been able to do in about 40 years."

The field house at North Hills' Martorelli Stadium is named after McCurry, a man who seemed to revel in a "bad-guy" image. In a 1982 playoff run, McCurry coached in a New York Yankees batting helmet because he figured everyone hated the Yankees.

While McCurry liked the bad-guy image, he certainly was good for North Hills. He won four WPIAL titles and one PIAA title. His 1987 team is legendary, finishing ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today. His 1979 team was one of the best defensive teams in WPIAL history. The Indians lost in the WPIAL semifinals to Penn Hills, but gave up only 19 points in 12 games. One of the two touchdowns North Hills gave up was on an interception return.

McCurry coached many talented players over the years, including three Parade All-Americans (LaVar Arrington, T.J. Osman and Eric Kasperowicz). He also coached Mark Kelso, who had a long career in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills.

"Arrington was probably the best, just because he was such a tremendous athlete," McCurry said.

As for the best player he coached against, McCurry said it might have been former Upper St. Clair star running back-defensive back Sean Lee, a linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys. …

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