YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Cardinal Mooney High School spokesperson confirmed to Sports Team 27 on Saturday that longtime football coach and athletic director Don Bucci has passed away at the age of 89.
He retired as the Cardinal Mooney AD in 2020.
“Despite all the wins, and all the championships, I think his greatest impact was the impact he had on and the lessons he taught to so many young men throughout his career,” said current Mooney head coach Carl Pelini.
Bucci took over as head football coach in 1966 and retired following the 1999 season.
“The two greatest men I’ve known to walk this earth are my father and coach Bucci,” says former Mooney standout player and assistant coach Chris Amill.
“Coach will be missed. He is Cardinal Mooney and always will be.”
According to the OHSAA state record book, Bucci is 15th all-time in wins in Ohio, having amassed a record of 306-89-5 in 34 years heading up the Cardinals’ program.
“Coach Bucci is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met in my life,” former Cardinals head coach PJ Fecko says.
“I am so fortunate to not only play for him, coach for him, but most importantly be a friend to him for so many years. The impact he has made with his mentorship over the years, and of touching the lives of so many young men is indescribable. He will be sorely missed and will leave a huge void in my heart.”
Bucci led Cardinal Mooney to a total of four state championships in 1973, 1980, 1982 and 1987.
He is a graduate of East High School. Following his high school career, he went on to play quarterback at the University of Notre Dame.