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Local legend: Phil Annarella voted top high school football coach in Valley history


More than 5,000 votes were cast online at over the last several weeks

Phill Annarella Passes Away

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The late Phil Annarella was voted as the top high school football coach in the Valley in a poll conducted online at

More than 5,000 votes were cast online over the last several weeks.

Another coach who finished in the top five in voting includes Frank Amato, who led Reynolds to 156 wins. Cardinal Mooney’s Don Bucci was also among the leading vote-getters, after leading the Cardinals to four state titles under his watch.

Current Warren JFK Head Coach Jeff Bayuk was also among the leaders, having led the Eagles to a state title in 2016.

Joining that group was long-time Chaney Head Coach Ron Berdis, who tallied 128 wins with the Cowboys, with 14 City Series Titles and a state finals appearance in 1997.

Annarella posted a career record of 246-146-3. His coaching stops include East Liverpool, Warren Western Reserve, Warren Harding, Hickory, Niles, and Austintown Fitch.

In 1990, Annarella led the consolidated Warren Harding/Warren Western Reserve team to a Division I State Title. That year, the Raiders were ranked #5 in the USA Today Poll.

More recently, Annarella led Austintown Fitch to the program’s first undefeated 10-0 regular season in school history. He led the Falcons to the postseason in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Annarella passed away unexpectedly in June.

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