HS FOOTBALL: Holy Cross coach Dave Gatto steps down after four seasons

·3 min read

Jun. 14—Dave Gatto stepped down as head football coach at Holy Cross to spend more time with his family.

The school immediately filled the vacancy with offensive coordinator Joe Giorgio due to the closeness to the start of the 2021 season, Holy Cross principal Ben Tolerico said.

Gatto spent four seasons as the head coach and had a record of 2-23 overall.

"Our coaches and players have been made aware of the situation and together in our commitment to have the best football season we can have," Tolerico said. "Our school is based on God and family and our values that will help our students long after games have ended. Because of this we believe our students can successfully handle adversities that arise such as this one.

"Coach Gatto is a good man with excellent football knowledge and has given our young men so much more to use in life other than just football."

Gatto played high school ball at Dunmore for coach Jack Henzes from 1976 to 1979. He started his coaching career as a member of the Bucks staff when the program went 13-0 in 1985 and won a PIAA Class A championship in 1989.

He joined the staff at Holy Cross when his son, Eric, played quarterback for the freshman team in 2010. Gatto also coached his son, Jake, at Holy Cross.

"I just love coaching, it's been such a big part of my life, it's in my DNA," Gatto, 59, said. "I just loved working with the kids. Maybe the wins weren't always there, but they always kept coming back and working hard and willing to learn. To see that each and every day as a coach, brings a smile to your face. That's what makes it all worth it, just seeing them enjoying the game.

"Of course, coaching

my sons was the thrill of a lifetime."

Giorgio coached the Holy Cross freshman team in 2011 and 2012 and has been with Gatto's staff since he became head coach in 2017. He played basketball and baseball at Dunmore and he and Gatto have been lifelong friends.

"We have a good group coming back, something like 20-21 kids returning, which for us is a really big number," Giorgio, 59, said. "We are hoping to get a few more out. I really wanted to do this for Dave, to keep the program rolling and give the kids a coach who they are familiar with who has been with them."

In addition to Giorgio at Holy Cross, Carbondale Area also has a new coach in the Lackawanna Football Conference with Jeff Arthur taking over the program.

The LFC Media Day for the 2021 season is scheduled for Aug. 3 at noon at The Regal Room in Olyphant. The heat acclimatization period in the PIAA starts Aug. 9, the first official practice is Aug. 16 and the start of the regular season is set for Aug. 27.

Contact the writer:

jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125

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