Bob Palko among 5 football coaches chosen for PSFCA Hall of Fame

Thursday, May 11, 2023 | 1:10 AM

Bob Palko, who won a record nine WPIAL football titles at West Allegheny and Mt. Lebanon, will be inducted this month into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Palko was one of five coaches chosen for the 2023 class, joining Gary Gouse (Portage), Rick Keely (Berks Catholic), Mike Ricci (Garnet Valley) and Jeff Weachter (Bishop McDevitt). They will be honored at 3 p.m. May 28 at Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt, which also hosts the Big 33 Football Classic that day.

The hall of fame class was announced Wednesday.

• Palko, a 1978 West Allegheny graduate, coached his high school alma mater for 24 seasons, winning eight WPIAL titles and one state championship. He most recently coached three seasons at Mt. Lebanon, where he won another WPIAL title, in 2021, and led the Blue Devils to their first state title. He resigned in January with 248 career wins.

• Ricci saw the Garnet Valley football team grow from a small-school program into a 6A contender in his 35 years as coach. He retired last summer after winning 261 games and three district titles. He was state runner-up once.

• Keeley just finished his 37th season combined at Berks Catholic and its predecessor, Holy Name. He has won 257 games and five district titles.

• Gouse, a 1975 Portage graduate, became head coach at his alma mater in 1991. He won 219 games in 29 years and led the team to 24 winning seasons.

• Weachter, who has coached Bishop McDevitt since 1998, celebrated a PIAA title last fall. He has won 248 games, 11 district titles and reached the state finals five times.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .


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