Bellinotti resigns as Burrell football coach

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Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 1:24 PM


Dave Bellinotti had long, difficult questions in recent weeks about his future at Burrell.

In the end, he decided the time was right to move on.

Citing family reasons as one of the biggest factors, Bellinotti resigned last week as Burrell's football coach after three seasons in charge at his former school.

“I was thankful to have the opportunity to coach at my alma mater,” Bellinotti said. “I just wanted to thank the school board and the administration for giving me the opportunity. I just decided it was best to move on.”

A safety on Burrell's 1986 WPIAL championship team, Bellinotti spent six years as an assistant at various points between 1991 and 2004, working under Gene Collodi and Tom Henderson. He also led the Lower Burrell Flyers youth program before becoming Burrell's coach in 2015, replacing Kevin Horwatt.

Under Bellinotti, Burrell finished 8-21 in three seasons. The Bucs went 1-9 in 2017, ending the year on a nine-game losing streak.

“The thing that's going to stick out to me is how difficult it can be to coach in your hometown,” Bellinotti said. “You're trying to always do the right thing for the whole program, and sometimes it just doesn't work out like that. Getting to Friday nights, and the sanctuary is getting out on the field and watching the game plan develop and watching the kids try to execute the game plan. That was always very exciting.

“Unfortunately, we didn't have the results we wanted to have, but that has been important to me. But then you go back to reality and realize how challenging it actually is. You take it for granted. You see guys coach at all levels, and it's challenging. There's a lot of working parts to it.”

Bellinotti said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and four kids: Alex, a junior first-team all-conference tight end and linebacker; Ellison, a sophomore; Joey, a seventh-grader; and Jack, a fifth-grader.

“I want to be there for all four of them,” Bellinotti said. “Two of them are in high school, one's in middle school and one is going to middle school. So I just want to be there for my family and my wife. My wife has been so supportive, and I just decided it was time to get back to being a dad and a husband and try to do the right thing.”

Although he's giving up coaching now, Bellinotti said he planned to get back to it in the future.

“I'm not sure where or when,” he said. “I've been coaching since I was about 20 years old, so it's a big part of me and my life.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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