Quaker Valley hires Ron Balog as football coach

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | 6:06 PM

Quaker Valley’s new football coach is more focused on next season rather than last.

Ron Balog, a former youth coach and Central Catholic assistant, was hired Tuesday to coach a QV football team that just celebrated its best season in school history. Taking over immediately after a state championship season would scare away some candidates, but Balog isn’t worried about unreasonable expectations.

No team wins state titles every year.

“The ebb and flow of high school classes dictate that one year to the next is usually completely different,” Balog said. “When people ask me that question, what I’ve told them is: ‘Hey, you’re going to be proud of our boys on the football field. And you’re going to be proud of them in the classroom. And you’re going to be proud of them in the community.’

“When we prepare, we’ll prepare like crazy to win. If we can get a WPIAL, if we can get a state title, that’s a cherry on top.”

He replaces interim coach Jerry Veshio, who came out of retirement for one season and led Quaker Valley to WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A titles.

Balog, 49, a financial advisor and owner of Insight Global Wealth Strategies, resides in Cranberry with his wife and two children. The St. Clairsville, Ohio, native played quarterback at Muskingum University, an NCAA Division III school in his home state.

“He was extremely impressive through the entire (interview) process,” Quaker Valley athletic director Mike Mastroianni said. “His philosophies and his approach are a perfect match and align well with our philosophies at Quaker Valley. That was across all the people he interviewed with. Everyone was extremely impressed with him.”

The district received more than 30 applicants and interviewed eight candidates, Mastroianni said.

Balog coached Central Catholic’s freshman team the past two seasons.

About a decade ago, he helped organize the North Pittsburgh Catholic Ironmen, a youth football program. He coached players in third through sixth grade before later coaching middle school for three seasons.

“To tell you the truth, I was not looking for a head football varsity job,” said Balog, who had friends in the Quaker Valley district that urged him to consider the job. “They came to me and said, ‘We think you ought to apply for the Quaker job. We think you’d be a great fit.’ I talked to my head coach ­— my wife — and she said, ‘Hey, throw your hat in the ring and see what happens.’ ”

QV’s offensive coordinator last season, Ed Pesicka, was Balog’s college teammate at Muskingum. Balog said the two fit well philosophically and will work together.

“WPIAL championships and state championships are hard to come by,” Balog said. “There will be no conversation around those. There will be a constant conversation on effort and attitude and creating better lives for these young men as football players and as students.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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