Ellwood City hires ‘proven winner’ Dan Bradley to fix struggling football program

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Friday, January 14, 2022 | 3:35 PM


Ellwood City hired former OLSH football coach Dan Bradley on Thursday to fix a distressed program that hasn’t won a game in three seasons.

The Wolverines have a 25-game losing streak.

The school hopes the solution is hiring Bradley, who went 49-19 in six seasons at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart before resigning last week. He reached the playoffs every year at OLSH, won a WPIAL Class A title in 2018 and was the WPIAL runner-up this past fall.

Bradley previously took Sto-Rox to the WPIAL finals twice.

“He’s a winner,” Ellwood City athletic director Curt Agostinelli said. “Everybody wants and talks about getting a crack at the playoffs, but if you look at his track record, he’s done a pretty good job of that. He’s a proven winner. A lot of people think they are. And a lot of people might say they are. He really doesn’t say any of that. He just goes out and does it.”

Bradley couldn’t be reached for comment.

He takes over an Ellwood City team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2011. The Wolverines went 0-8 last season including 0-7 in the Class 2A Midwestern Conference, and were outscored 321-40.

The team’s most-recent win was Oct. 26, 2018.

“Ninety percent of high school football is attitude,” Agostinelli said. “We need to change it. We need to get back the Ellwood City attitude, and I think Dan is the guy who brings it back.”

Bradley replaces Joe Lamenza, who went 0-25 in three seasons as coach. Lamenza was the team’s fourth head coach in the past six seasons.

The Wolverines are seeking their first winning season since finishing 7-4 in 2011.

“Older people remember that we weren’t always this bad,” Agostinelli said. “It’s not anybody’s direct fault. Over the years, we’ve lost some of that swagger. That’s my job, too, to try to bring it back, as someone who played here. I can’t watch it anymore.”

OLSH hired Bradley in 2016 to take over a team that went winless the year before. With him as coach, OLSH posted a winning record every season he was there. His best was 2018, when the Chargers went 12-2 and won the WPIAL Class A title with his son, Tyler, at quarterback.

Prior to joining OLSH, Bradley had head coaching stints at Ambridge (2014-15) and Sto-Rox (2012-13). He went 23-3 at Sto-Rox and finished as the WPIAL Class A runner-up twice. At Ambridge, he went 8-11 and led the Bridgers to the WPIAL playoffs in 2015.

OLSH went 9-4 this past season and finished as the WPIAL runner-up in Class A.

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

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