Jeannette hires Paulone as new football coach

Monday, December 20, 2021 | 9:48 PM

Thomas Paulone Jr. knows the rich tradition of the Jeannette football program.

He played for the Jayhawks, graduating in 2010, and his grandfather, the late Aldo Paulone, hired the late Joe Mucci away from Greensburg Central Catholic in 1968.

Paulone, 29, continues the tradition of former Jeannette players to coach the Jayhawks. He was officially hired Monday at a special meeting by the district’s school board.

The history of Jeannette hiring from within continues. Art Tragesser followed Mucci, then it with Robert Murphy, Ray Reitz and Roy Hall.

Paulone graduated with honors at Jeannette, was class president and a multi-sport athlete.

He replaces Hall, who resigned after the season.

“It’s an honor to continue the tradition,” said Paulone, who turns 30 on Jan. 11. “This isn’t about me. It’s about Jayhawk Nation. I felt a responsibility to come home and coach.

“Roy and his staff did a great job, especially last year under tough circumstances.”

After winning the 2020 WPIAL Class A title and finishing second in the PIAA, the winningest program in the WPIAL uncharacteristically had numerous underclassmen transfer away and skipping out of possibly winning another WPIAL title and playing for a PIAA title.

Paulone is a 2014 graduate of Waynesburg. He spent the past four seasons at Chartiers Valley, where he coached the quarterbacks and inside linebackers. He was also the passing game coordinator.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Paulone said. “I’ll be at the school at 7:25 a.m. Tuesday greeting my players and wishing them a great day in school.

“I want to develop players and get them to stay home. I want to teach them to become a great person, a great student and a great player. I learned a lot from Roy and Ray (Reitz). Being part of the scout team when Jeannette won back-to-back WPIAL titles made me a better player and a better person.”

Hall said the final four candidates, all former Jayhawks, were excellent candidates.

“It wasn’t an easy process,” Hall said. “All had good interviews. Thomas is very intelligent and a great person.

“I was honored that he came down, and we talked about the program. I offered some suggestions and advice. When he was a quarterback for us, he always liked to go on two. To this day, when he wanted to go on two we called in the ‘Paulone’.”

Paulone graduated from Waynesburg with a degree in criminal justice administration and a minor in political science. He played on the football team under Rick Shepas.

While on the team at Waynesburg, he found a home in the offensive backfield and on special teams. Paulone began his coaching career at Waynesburg in December 2013 as a running backs and offensive quality control coach before heading to Chartiers Valley.

In addition to his regular coaching duties, in January 2020 he was hired as the quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator for the College Gridiron Showcase held annually in Fort Worth Texas.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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