Former Plum football coach Frank Sacco dies at age 53

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Friday, December 21, 2018 | 9:48 PM


Frank Sacco’s love and enthusiasm for football flowed to the many players he coached during a nearly two-decade span.

Sacco, a former Plum player, Mustangs assistant for 15 years and head coach for four seasons after that, died Sunday at age 53.

Many of his ex-players showed up at Wednesday’s viewing at the Gene Corl Funeral Home in Monroeville.

“The place was packed (that night),” said Bill Rometo, who coached Sacco coming up through the Plum program and later hired Sacco as an assistant.

Added Rometo: “His dad passed away at a very young age when Frank was 14. I kind of took him under my wing then and later brought him in as a young assistant.”

As a flanker and a safety, Sacco started two years for the Mustangs, including the 1982 season where Plum was Quad East Conference champ with a 6-0 mark under coach Al “Abby” Mauro.

The Mustangs defeated Chartiers Valley to begin the WPIAL Class 4A Division II playoffs, but lost to eventual champion Ringgold.

He then moved on to Cal (Pa), where he was a sophomore wide receiver on the 1984 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship team.

“Frank was loyal,” Rometo said. “He was loyal to me and the program. That’s a quality he had and the players responded.”

Plum has had just three head football coaches in the last 30 years — Rometo, Sacco and the present coach, Matt Morgan.

When Rometo stepped down after 20 seasons at the helm, Sacco came in and led Plum to the 2009 playoffs, losing to Gateway in the first round. The following season, the Mustangs went 6-3, losing to Mt. Lebanon in the opening round of the playoffs.

When not on the football field, Sacco worked in the family’s dental lab business and, more recently, at the Jewish Community Center.

“Frank was more than wins and losses,” Rometo said. “He was all about making kids better players and better people. I lost a close friend of mine and the community lost a good person.”

Friends were received at the Corl Funeral Home on Northern Pike, Monroeville.

Funeral Mass was at the Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church Friday and internment was at Plum Creek Cemetery.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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