Aliquippa assistant Larry Taddeo has been coaching high school football for 31 years. Last Saturday, he finally got a chance to celebrate a WPIAL championship when the Quips beat Jeannette 14-7 in the Class AA title game at Heinz Field.
Taddeo had been 0-3 in championship games, all as an assistant at the Class AA level as Center lost to Steel Valley in 1989 at Three Rivers Stadium, Beaver Falls lost to Washington in 2001 in Heinz Field's inaugural season and Aliquippa lost to South Fayette last year.
Taddeo was the head coach at Center when that school district merged with Monaca to form Central Valley prior to the 2010 season. Taddeo was considered the favorite to be named the first coach at Central Valley but the school board pulled a surprise and instead hired Freedom coach Mark Lyons, once the coach at Monaca.
That made for an emotional WPIAL championship day at Heinz Field for Taddeo last season. Immediately after Aliquippa lost, Central Valley beat Montour in the Class AAA title game.
However, Taddeo has moved on and couldn't be happier to be part of an Aliquippa staff that he competed agianst for so many years in the Midwestern Conference while at Center.
"I'm fortunate because not too many outsiders get to join this staff," Taddeo said. "I told (Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac) that when you're on the other sideline, you don't realize how hard this coaching staff works. You think they don't do all the little things because of the talent they have here but they do."
Aliquippa (13-0) will play District 9 champion Moniteau (12-0) in a PIAA quarterfinal on Friday night at Clarion University.