Valley’s Muzzy Colosimo gets emotional as he retires from coaching

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Monday, November 1, 2021 | 5:07 PM


The past couple of days have been pretty emotional for Muzzy Colosimo since he announced his retirement from coaching football and was on the sidelines guiding his Valley football team one last time Friday evening.

His son, Willie, who coached with him at Valley and Greensburg Central Catholic and with the Pittsburgh Passion and the Renaissance Christian Academy in Penn Hills, wrote a Facebook post further detailing the decision, and hundreds of responses from many of his former players, students, coaches at different levels and others flooded in, taking the normally unemotional Colosimo on a roller-coaster ride.

“I’ve always been a tough guy when it comes to emotional things,” said Colosimo, who won 168 games over 25 years combined at Greensburg Central Catholic (17) and Valley (eight).

“I don’t cry too often. But I can tell you I must be getting soft in my old age because I bawled like a baby all weekend. My wife and I were riding in the car to go watch my granddaughter play soccer, and she is reading all the stuff that was said on Facebook.

“One kid I coached, his dad died, and he didn’t know what to do. I kept him around the football team and did what I could to help him. He is pretty successful now. When you hear that kind of stuff, you say, ‘What we do is pretty important.’ It makes me feel like I and others have done a lot of good things.”

Colosimo, 71, said he also feels the body aches and pains that comes with reaching the age he is at now.

“I just felt it was time,” he said.

Colosimo said he arrived at his decision after “thinking about it way too much” throughout the season.

The Valley players and Colosimo’s assistant coaches were unable to contain their emotion after Friday’s 19-14 loss at Burrell.

The Vikings entered the game having already been eliminated from playoff contention. Colosimo said he told his players and others that it would be his last game after 50 years in coaching, but at the same time, he said, it was a pretty emotional time on the turf in the moments after the final horn sounded.

“I love these kids. They played so hard tonight,” Colosimo said after the game. “What else can you say? It was a great game, a great rivalry game. We got so close on that fourth down. Their defense made a play and stopped us. I told the guys that if I was going to battle, I would take them with me every time.”

Valley finished the 2021 season 2-7 overall and 1-5 in Allegheny Seven Conference play. The Vikings scored wins over Derry in conference play and Yough in nonconference action.

Colosimo didn’t hide his frustration over a fighting incident in the game with Yough where nine Valley players were suspended for the final two games of the season.

Despite that acknowledgement, he said he saw positive strides made this season with the team in the attempt to meet a number of goals.

Colosimo said he hopes to continue to work with colleges in some capacity to get the current seniors and other Vikings players into the best college fit.

Valley alumni such as Von Ross (Allegheny) and Tyson Hill (Cal Pa.) are making their mark for their college football programs with record-setting performances this fall.

Colosimo over the years has stressed the importance of a college education and expressed his pride in helping athletes at all of his high school stops get the chance to excel at the next level.

Muzzy said he also gave thought to the additional time he would have to spend with family, including his grandchildren.

“I’ve spent so much time helping raise everyone else’s kids, and my wife did an absolutely wonderful job helping raise my boys,” Colosimo said. “It wasn’t a really hard decision to make as far as my life goes. But where I know it was bothering me was in who was going to help the kids with things like getting them into school.”

Colosimo, also Valley’s athletic director, is on Tuesday’s ballot as the Democratic nominee for Westmoreland County Clerk of Courts. The job is full-time, so if he wins, he said he would resign as athletic director but would do whatever was asked of him in the transition to making a new hire.

If he is not successful Tuesday, he will remain in his AD post.

Colosimo broke into the high school ranks in the 1980s under Arnold resident Joe Naunchik at Hempfield.

In the early 1990s, he worked with (Al) Abby Mauro at Franklin Regional. He coached briefly at Valley as an assistant before becoming the GCC head coach in 1995.

Colosimo also coached in the college ranks at Seton Hill.

“So I’ve literally coached at every level and every gender,” Colosimo said prior to the start of this season. “I never had a year where I hated coaching. … You stay close with the kids because you don’t know if they’ll ever need your help.”

Colosimo’s coaching influence was felt throughout the state, and in 2014, he was enshrined in the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, something he said at the time was “one of the greatest honors I have ever had.”

Among his 143 wins at GCC, Colosimo took the Centurions to three WPIAL title games and captured the Class AA title in 2009.

“Am I going to miss looking at film? Probably not,” Colosimo said. “What I am going to miss is practices and games and time spent with all of the players and my colleagues. The relationships I’ve been able to form, that’s the most special and important to me.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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