YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Cardinal Mooney High School officially parted ways with head football coach PJ Fecko on Monday, looking to go in a different direction with the program.
Fecko met with Sports Team 27 to discuss the coaching change, his legacy and the future.
“I’ve been coaching in that building for 26 years, it’s obviously gonna be a change,” Fecko said.
Fecko reflected on a championship coaching career just a day after receiving the news that he is no longer the head football coach at Cardinal Mooney.
“It definitely sours the whole thing,” he admitted. “I stepped into that building in 1989 and haven’t left it in some capacity. Not the fact of the coaching change. It doesn’t sour things at all. It’s part of the nature of the game, that’s what we see each and every day, that’s what we sign up for. That’s what we know occurs each and every year, and it can happen to you at any time. It was just the process of it all and the handling of it all. I would have hoped it would have came out a little bit different with all the tradition and time and all the success that we had there, would have been really, really great.”
The Cardinals won four state championships under Fecko’s watch, finishing as state runners-up three other seasons.
When the news broke that a coaching change was being made, Fecko said he received plenty of moral support.
“It was really neat and special to see all of the former players and alumni — I was just flooded and flooded with calls and all of their responses,” he said. “A couple of them just flew in and it’s been a really neat deal to see the lives that you’ve touched over the years and everything that we were a part of and the tremendous run that we had.”
Fecko said he’s not ready to retire from the coaching ranks just yet and has not ruled out a return to the sidelines if the right opportunity presented itself. But, he won’t soon forget each of his 159 wins at his alma mater as he embarks on the next chapter in his career.
“It’s a proud moment,” Fecko admitted. “It was a proud time to be around a bunch of special people, whether they were all the different players that we had, all their families that we were involved in, a select group of coaches, and those things that make it very, very memorable.”