Cinti Named Football Coach Of New W-B Area Wolfpack
WILKES-BARRE — For as much respect Ciro Cinti has for the past, his focus now is clearly on the future.
On Tuesday night, the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board voted 8-0 to hire Cinti as the first head coach of the Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack, the football team that will compete as a Class 6A school in the Wyoming Valley Conference with a combination of players from Coughlin, GAR and Meyers.
In all, there were two official applicants for the job with both coming within the school district. A third candidate removed his name from the process.
The district also hired coaches for other fall sports to begin play with the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The only two positions that were not filled at the meeting are cross country and girls volleyball. Those positions will be filled at a later date.
“I’m honored that they have enough respect for me and that they chose me,” said Cinti, who did not attend the meeting. “I take very seriously the opportunity. It will definitely be a challenge and we are going to move 100 percent forward. I am going to meet with all the kids (today) and Thursday. The main thing that I am excited about is all the comments at the beginning of the year of us getting together as one. The kids need to come out and be a part of something special. This is a new beginning.”
Citing declining numbers in athletics at all three schools, the school board voted in May to consolidate the athletic programs at all three public high schools in Wilkes-Barre.
Cinti was the head coach at Coughlin for the last 13 seasons, compiling an overall record of 71-73. After going 4-6 in his first season at Coughlin, the Crusaders made 11 consecutive appearances in either the district or Eastern Conference playoffs.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for the history of GAR, Meyers and Coughlin,” Cinti said. “I am no longer the coach at Coughlin. I am the coach of the Wolfpack. The main thing is that three are now becoming one. We all have to come together as one to be successful.”
Wilkes-Barre Area superintendent Dr. Brian Costello said the applicants for the positions came mainly from coaches who were already coaching in the district, but did say there were some outside candidates who had no affiliation with the district.
“I think the interview process went very well,” Costello said. “We had a tremendous amount of highly qualified candidates and we gave everyone an interview. We followed our hiring process.”
Costello emphasized that the hiring process was not so much about wins or losses, but the capability of bringing three separate campuses together, and how that task will be handled.
“This isn’t about football, basketball or field hockey,” Costello said. “It’s about how are you going to bring the community together and how are you going to bring three schools together.”
That is where a commitment from everyone involved is going to be necessary to make this work. Cinti already has a plan in place where he will begin to head around to see the athletes from all three schools who participate in a winter sport, and encourage them to be part of a new beginning.
“I would like to start on weekends and meet at different locations and do some different things,” Cinti said. “I am big on having them do community service, just getting out there and doing things together. Our theme is three becomes one. We are going to get out there and help the local organizations.”
A huge positive for not just Cinti, but the other coaches who were hired, is they all know the administration is behind them.
“The administration is going to be very supportive in all the sports,” Cinti said. “We are all going to have to lean on them to make sure the kids are going to school, keeping track of them and to let us know if they are not. The administration is behind us in that we want them to be successful in the classroom first and then on the field.”
Other coaches who were hired at the meeting for the 2019 season include Colleen Wood for field hockey, Sean McLaughin, golf; Jack Nolan, boys soccer, Desiree Kreidler, girls soccer and Raphael Cooper, girls tennis. Jill Pesotski and Hannah Beach were hired as assistant varsity field hockey coaches. No other assistants were officially hired for any other sport.
“Now it’s truly going to be about solidifying a staff,” Cinti said. “I’m trying to get people in all the schools. The one thing I know is that the athletic committee stressed to me that we need coaches that are going to be committed for the whole year, not part time. We want coaches who will take this responsibility on full time. That is what I am in the process of going. I have several guys that want to be part of the staff, but they have to realize it is not a part time deal.”
The Wolfpack football team will open the 2019 season on the weekend of Aug. 23-24 at Crestwood. The team will play its home games at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
2019 Wilkes-Barre Area football schedule
at Hazleton Area
at Valley West
Contact the writer:
570 821-2062; @CVSteveBennett