Legendary New York high school football coach Tony DeMatteo retires after over a half century on sidelines

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After 52 years as a head football coach, Tony DeMatteo is heading into retirement. He is second on New York’s all-time high school football coaching wins list.

The 78-year old DeMatteo announced his retirement last Thursday after leading Somers to a perfect 6-0 spring season that culminated with a Section 1 Class A regional bowl championship. Coach DeMatteo finishes with a record of 360-115-4. He leaves the sideline four wins shy of the all-time wins mark of 364 victories that is held by the late Howie Vogts of Bethpage High School.

Josh Thomson of the Rockland/Westchester Journal News asked DeMatteo about the record for his story on LoHud.com:

“I’m just hoping that people realize what I’m really all about. I’m four wins away from being the No. 1 guy in New York state, but that’s really not important for me. Although 360 is the number of wins I have, I think you can triple that number and I believe that’s the number of kids I’ve had learn how to lead a deliberate life and hopefully help them become successful in their lives.”

Coach DeMatteo via LoHud.com

In 2016, DeMatteo was honored by the AFCA with its Power of Influence Award.

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.