WARREN, Pa. – After six seasons, Mark Morelli is stepping down as the head football coach at Warren Area High School.
Morelli’s tenure at Warren included an overall record of 29-29, including 27-21 in the last five seasons after a 2-8 record in his first year in 2017.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Morelli said. “Many years ago, a wise older coach from New York state whom I became friends with working the Penn State football camps told me you’ll know when it’s time to go. It’s my time.”
Morelli, who picked up his 100th career win against Mercyhurst Prep this past season, has coached for 42 years (20 as a head coach) including 11 as the head coach at Ridgway, where he went 60-48, and three at Cameron County, where he went 12-18.
“This wasn’t a one-man show,” Morelli said of his time at Warren. “You don’t do what we’ve done the last five years unless you have a good staff that is willing to put the time in.”
Morelli’s teams at Warren made two playoff appearances in 2019 and 2021, and the Dragons finished .500 or better each of the last five seasons, something that hadn’t been done at Warren since the 1970s.
But more than that, it’s the memories built along the way that Morelli will treasure the most.
“With regards to the team and others, past and present, I will miss them,” Morelli said. “Most of all, I will miss the camaraderie, the friendships, and the relationships that I have built up over the years.”
Morelli, 63, who lives in Ridgway, said he will take some time to ponder his next move, but does want to stay involved with football in one way or another.
“Even though I have retired as a head coach, I hope to stay involved with the game of football in some capacity, someway, somewhere,” Morelli said. “Perhaps there is a place for us gray beards to share our football experience, especially a lifer like me.”