Friday, December 12, 2008

Catania Elephants Get a Great New Coach!

The Catania Elephants are very excited to announce the addition of Paul Petrich Jr. to our 2009 coaching staff.  Paul will be working primarily with our defensive line and brings 39 years of coaching experience to Sicily!

Paul Petrich Jr.

Here is Paul getting off the ferry boat from Naples in Catania last spring on the day our home game against the Palermo Corsari.  Paul has been a world traveler and an adventurer all of his life.

Lunch with Paul in Cefalu' last June

At California's San Pedro High School he played both fullback and linebacker.  Paul played his college football at the University of California, Los Angeles Community College and San Jose State University where he earned a degree in Social Science and started his teaching and coaching career.  In college he played on both the offensive and defensive lines and some linebacker to boot!

In order to summarize Paul's impressive coaching career we'll start with his 25 years coaching at the high school level starting in 1964 as first a freshman level coach assistant and then as a J.V. Head Coach.  Paul then went on to spend 20 years as a Defensive Coordinator at both Hueneme and Rio Mesa High Schools.  In 1989 he received the first ever Southern California Interscholastic Football Coaches Association's "Assistant Coach of the Year Award."

Paul would go on to coach his specialty, the defensive line, at the Junior College level for 11 seasons.  Paul coached at Ventura College in 1970 and assisted at Santa Barbara City College for 10 campaigns.

Paul has also had three very positive coaching experiences in Europe.

In 1988 he was the lone coach of the Division 2 Kanalmaki Whips in Finland.  The Whips were based near Helsinki and they made the playoffs that season.

In 2001 Paul resurfaced in Europe with the Bergamo Lions of our Italian league.  Paul coached the defensive linemen as the Lions won both the Italian League title and the Euro Bowl Championship!

Paul's last coaching stint on the continent came in 2002 as the Defensive Coordinator of the Tyrolean Raiders of Innsbruck in the Austrian league.  Again, his team made the playoffs that season.  By coincidence, this Austrian team is the same one that both Jason Johnson and Matt Epperson, Catania's hot passing combination last season, will play for in 2009.

With this hire, the Elephants have taken yet another BIG step in the quest for another great season in 2009.

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