East Allegheny football coach Dom Pecora resigns after 8 straight playoff appearances

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Wednesday, January 3, 2024 | 7:57 PM


Winning a conference title and reaching the WPIAL semifinals will always be two of the happiest moments of his life, says East Allegheny football coach Dom Pecora, who is stepping down after 11 seasons with the Wildcats.

“When we blocked the extra point (to win the conference), there is nothing in my life that could ever make me that happy again,” said Pecora, who resigned Tuesday. “The rest of my life, I’ll chase being that happy.”

Pecora also owns a successful restaurant — Dom’s Pizzeria in Trafford — and is a father of six. So, when he ranks football wins at the top of his happiness list, his wife, Jenn, rightfully teases him about it.

“I have to say, ‘after we were married’” or after the kids, he said with a laugh. “I try to cover it up.”

East Allegheny went 9-3 this season, won the Allegheny 6 title and made a run in the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs. His career record is 67-48, which included an overtime win against Knoch in October for the conference title.

“East Allegheny means the world to me,” Pecora said. “I’ll be an East Allegheny Wildcat until the day I die. But I think everything runs its course. It’s hard to explain, but you kind of have that feeling that it’s time.”

When he was first hired as coach in 2013, his hope then was to make the playoffs at least once. This fall, the team made its eighth straight postseason appearance.

“Coach Pecora will be more than missed,” EA athletic director Dave Loya said. “He did so much for our program and our kids.”

Pecora met with his players Tuesday.

“Our senior class went to the quarterfinals or semifinals every year of their career,” he said. “It’s hard (to leave). I’ll never forget my first three years when we didn’t make the playoffs. I remember thinking, ‘Man, if we make the playoffs one time, I’ll be the happiest person in the whole world.’ And then we made it eight years in a row.”

Pecora said a desire to spend time with family influenced his decision to resign. He noted that his eighth-grade son, Gino, played junior high football for Penn-Trafford this fall and he wasn’t able to attend his afternoon games.

“As a coach, you make a sacrifice for a greater cause,” Pecora said. “But I didn’t see my kid play a football game for three years.”

Still, this likely isn’t the end of his coaching career. Pecora said he could serve as an assistant coach somewhere next fall in the right situation.

Until then, he’ll coach his daughter Drea’s sixth grade girls basketball team at Penn-Trafford. He said their season started unceremoniously this winter with a humbling loss in his hardwood coaching debut.

“It’s one thing to lose to Quinton Martin and Belle Vernon,” he said laughing, “but the Lady Colonials of Albert Gallatin whipped my butt up and down the court. I wasn’t proud of that moment.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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