Alumnus Hoffer hired as coach to revive Yough football program

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 | 9:16 PM

It can be done: Yough can win again.

That is the message Ben Hoffer is bringing to his alma mater, and he plans to plaster it all over the football program until it comes to pass — or run. Whatever it takes.

The former Yough standout running back was hired Tuesday as the head coach of the Cougars, replacing Chris Chunko, who resigned after two seasons.

“In my four years here, we won three conference championships,” said Hoffer, 31, who is the second all-time leading rusher at Yough behind Dustin Shoaf with more than 3,000 yards. “People say it can’t be done. I am here to tell them it can be.”

Hoffer, who played at Washington & Jefferson, said he applied as soon as the position opened.

“I always knew it was a job I wanted to pursue,” said Hoffer, who spent one season at Yough as an assistant under Scott Wood. “I wanted to be a head coach since I was little. If I was going to become a head coach, it was going to be with this program. I am a proud alum, and I have been there and done it.”

An assistant for nine years at East Allegheny where he coached special teams and running backs, Hoffer developed a working relationship with Dom Pecora, the head coach of the Wildcats.

Pecora was on staff when Hoffer played at Yough.

A football bond led to the pair becoming business partners. Hoffer and Pecora opened the Lucky Lottery store in Trafford. Pecora runs Dom’s Pizzeria in the same town.

“I want Yough to be my program,” Hoffer said. “I see what Dom has done at EA. He has so much pride. That is what I want to bring here. The kids need to believe we can win again. I am proof we can.”

Hoffer also is an assistant baseball coach at Yough and was an assistant middle school basketball coach at East Allegheny for the last two years.

Yough has not been to the WPIAL playoffs since 2013. The Cougars went 1-9 last season.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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