Veteran football coach Tom Loughran resigns after 8 seasons at Fox Chapel

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Monday, December 5, 2022 | 12:37 PM


After 40 seasons as one of the WPIAL’s winningest football coaches, Tom Loughran has stepped down at Fox Chapel.

Loughran won 210 games in his career, one of just 34 coaches in the league’s 117-year history to reach that plateau.

In 1997 and in 2005, his South Park teams won WPIAL titles.

Of his 40 seasons on the sidelines as a head coach, the last eight were at Fox Chapel.

“I’ve been very blessed to be part of that,” Loughran said of his lengthy tenure. “We had some minor accomplishments at Fox Chapel, things they hadn’t done in 20 or 25 years.”

Last year, the Foxes defeated Upper St. Clair for the school’s first playoff football win since 1997.

“We were never able to get over the hump there,” Loughran said. “We’d go 6-4 or 5-5, and we won the playoff game. Those things are positives. I’m humbled by the fact that we couldn’t get (more) done. But I’m appreciative of the opportunity that I coached there.”

Former Springdale coach David Leasure has been hired to succeed Loughran, the school announced Monday. Leasure was defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Fox Chapel from 2005-10.

“Besides his impressive background as an experienced play caller and leader, Dave is the right person for the job,” Mike O’Brien, Fox Chapel athletic director, said in a release. “He has been a teacher in the district for 17 years, so he is familiar with a lot of the players and is very eager to take on this challenge. I like his ideas about moving the program forward and how he will approach the task with a positive attitude and high level of energy.”

Loughran’s desire to get into coaching began as a youngster, playing for the Morningside Bulldogs, one of the most successful youth programs in the Pittsburgh region’s history.

“Going back to grade school, I always thought this would be a good way to spend my life, being involved with young kids,” he said. “It was an opportunity to stay involved with the game after I was done playing the game I loved.”

At Morningside, he played under the guidance of legendary coach Joe Natoli, founder and Bulldogs coach for more than 50 years. Natoli, who died in 2013, was known in sports and civic circles for many years and co-founded the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame.

A native of Pittsburgh’s Greenfield section, Loughran played high school football for Central Catholic. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon.

After living in the South Park area, Loughran and his wife were looking for a retirement home and ended up in Oakmont at the former Edgewater Steel Co. site just as Fox Chapel had a football opening in 2015.

As for the immediate future, Loughran said he’ll wait and see where the next road takes him.

Leasure, meanwhile, returns to Fox Chapel after acting as Freeport’s offensive coordinator this season. Previously, he was head coach at Springdale for four years and offensive coordinator at Saltsburg for four years.

“I haven’t always had the biggest or fastest kids, or the largest rosters, but we always had a scheme that was tailored to meet our offensive and defensive needs, as well as those of the overall program,” Leasure said in the release.

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