Kiski Area grad Ben Fiore to lead boys soccer team at alma mater
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 | 1:19 PM
Ben Fiore is coming home.
The 2015 Kiski Area graduate and former Cavaliers soccer player is the new boys coach at his alma mater.
Fiore was hired Monday by the Kiski Area School Board to take over for Sean Arnold, who stepped down after the 2022 season, concluding nine years as the Cavaliers coach.
Fiore leaves the Ambridge boys program, where he experienced a great deal of success as its coach the past two seasons.
“It is such an amazing feeling to return home to Kiski,” Fiore said. “I have a lot of love for Kiski, and Kiski is partially responsible for the good parts of who I am. I am very fortunate to say that I went there, and I have some of my best life memories there, including the time with the boys soccer program. The fact that I am able to come back and contribute in some way to the community and the program means the world to me.”
Fiore said while it is an exciting opportunity to come to Kiski, it was tough to leave a Bridgers program that allowed him to grow as a coach.
He arrived at Ambridge in 2021 and helped guide the team to a Section 4-2A runner-up finish (9-3) and a run to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals. The Bridgers finished the season 14-7 overall.
Fiore’s first WPIAL playoff victory with Ambridge in 2021 came in an emotional game against Leechburg, the team he coached as an assistant under coach Brad Walker the year before.
Ambridge also rolled past District 9 champion Bradford in the PIAA first round before a tough 3-2 loss to Hershey from District 3.
“Bittersweet was the perfect term,” Fiore said about his decision to leave Ambridge for Kiski. “Ambridge is the first team to give me a shot at being a head coach. I have a lot of respect for them taking a chance on me. In the two years I was there, I built such solid relationships with players, parents and faculty members. They took me in as their own. The success we had the past two years was definitely tough to leave.
“There was really only one school that would pull me from Ambridge, and that was Kiski. I wouldn’t have left for some other school. After I gave the news to everyone at Ambridge, I think everyone understood just how important it was for me to come back home to Kiski. I still have love for Ambridge, and I hope they succeed for many years to come.”
Fiore capped his senior year at Kiski Area in 2014 by helping the Cavaliers to an 11-8-1 overall record, an 8-4 mark in section play and a first-round playoff victory over Latrobe.
Upon graduation, Fiore played one year of soccer at a branch campus of Montana State University. He also joined the Air Force and was stationed at Malmstrom AFB near Great Falls.
He was a part of a base soccer team that traveled to play other bases in the region.
“I continued to be a part of the game as much as I could,” Fiore said.
Fiore started his coaching career at a school in Montana before coming back to the Alle-Kiski Valley.
Arnold was an assistant at Kiski Area for six years before taking over the head coaching job for the 2014 season.
In nine seasons at the helm of the Cavaliers, Arnold guided the program to a 97-65-12 overall record, eight playoff appearances and four trips to at least the WPIAL quarterfinal round.
He had only two sub-.500 seasons, but one of them — 2015 — ended with a run to the WPIAL semifinals and a trip to the PIAA playoffs.
In 2022, Kiski Area captured the Section 1-3A title with an 11-1 mark. The Cavaliers, who finished 16-4 overall, shut out Gateway in the WPIAL first round before a tough 1-0 loss to Montour in the quarterfinals.
“Sean set a really good precedent for culture,” Fiore said. “When I played there and what it is now, it’s always been a place where guys want to play. Sean created an atmosphere where everyone is happy and having fun, and it is a brotherhood in a way. His teams have always been competitive. The past 10-15 years, Kiski has been a perennial playoff team, and Sean had a lot to do with it. I want to continue that success.
“Sean and also Brad Walker, who was an assistant at Kiski when I played, they really inspired me to get into coaching. I loved the way they handled things. Now, I know I have big shoes to fill, but I am excited to get started, for sure.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
Tags: Kiski Area
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