Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bearcats Regroup under Dolciato

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bearcats Regroup under Dolciato

Article excerpt

Some may question what would motivate a football coach to leave one of the most successful programs in NCAA Division III to take the reins at a college program that hasn't won a game in the past two seasons.

But to understand what motivates St. Vincent coach Ron Dolciato, one must recognize the passion to teach football and bring success to a program that is his beginning this season.

"I left a national championship contender at John Carroll," said Dolciato, who graduated from the Cleveland-area school in 1990 and was a part of the Blue Streaks coaching staff until the end of last season when he was the offensive coordinator for a team that averaged 451.5 yards per game and had the 14th-best passing attack in Division III.

So, to leave a program that is well-grounded in winning for a program that has been in the proverbial desert for the past two seasons might be inexplicable, but not to Dolciato.

"I see a lot of similarities in the atmosphere and the schools and the way they conduct business," he said. "That's the main reason I'm here today."

Dolciato has been on campus near Latrobe since the spring, and he believes that the Bearcats must be sound defensively, and he likes what he's seen thus far as 10 of the team's 11 starters from a year ago have returned along with eight offensive starters.

"We have the most talent coming back on defense, and in watching film from last year, we weren't bad defensively," he said. "That's our biggest strength. And I think our recruiting class is pretty good."

In a move reminiscent of when Johnny Majors took over the University of Pittsburgh's football program in his first stint in 1973, Dolciato and his coaches have recruited 65 freshmen to join the Bearcats program.

"I'd like to say [the freshmen] are very good, but we definitely have 10 to 15 kids who we feel are going to contribute right away," he said. "When we got here, there was only two of us recruiting, and we did that for about six weeks.

"We got some other coaches. So, basically, our recruiting class is the result of three people -- myself, [special teams coordinator and linebackers coach] Phil Bokovitz and [associate head coach and recruiting coordinator] Andy Hoffman.

"We didn't have a full staff in place, and we worked diligently, stayed on the phones and did what we needed to do to get the biggest class we've had since the inception of the program. …

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