McGuffey football coach Ed Dalton resigns after 12 years, not ready for retirement

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Thursday, January 4, 2024 | 5:36 PM


Ed Dalton is stepping down after 12 seasons as McGuffey’s football coach, but don’t mistake his resignation as an early retirement.

Dalton wants to keep adding to his 34-year career, but the 64-year-old coach with more than 240 career wins says his next coaching stop is still undecided.

“It’s not really a retirement because I want to take a look at some professional, collegiate, maybe even other high school opportunities,” he said Thursday. “But I also care so much about McGuffey and our kids and our coaches that I don’t want to be looking at other opportunities and leave them in the lurch.”

Dalton said he’ll remain athletic director at McGuffey, where he was hired in 2012. He led the football team to an 8-4 finish this season and a share of the Century Conference title.

Still, Dalton was ready for a change.

“Sometimes, just another voice is good for kids,” he said. “Twelve years is a long time at one place.”

The Highlanders went 77-48 under Dalton. They reached the playoffs nine times in that 12-year span, including the past six in a row.

“I got to coach a bunch of great kids,” he said. “There is never a day you go to practice and dread anything about it. Your guys come to practice, they’re very respectful and they’re good kids.”

The team reached the WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals each of the past two seasons. Dalton said a coaching connection throughout the program, from the youth leagues to the varsity staff, was a key for success.

“I could tell you who the sixth-grade quarterbacks were,” he said, “and the seventh-grade running backs and the eighth-grade linemen. I think the guys in the program know how important that is, identifying talent.”

Dalton said he chose to resign now so his eventual replacement could run offseason workouts this winter. In a resignation letter to the administration, he recommended assistant coach Nate Parry for the job.

The team is moving up to 3A next year.

“I think I’m leaving them in a good place because we have about 20 rising juniors who’ll be seniors,” Dalton said. “So they have an opportunity to be good.”

His coaching tenure started at Purchase Line in 1988. He later coached at Mt. Pleasant, Altoona and Trinity, where he stayed for 12 years as coach and athletic director.

“I think I have one more challenge in me,” he said, “but I just don’t know where.”

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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