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John Petchel

Coaching ∙ Midland

 

 

 

 

While John Petchel was head football coach at Midland High School (1951-1959), his teams compiled a 59-20-6 record. He coached the Leopards to the WPIAL Class A title in 1952 when they defeated German Township High in a 14-6 championship thriller. Midland shared the WPIAL Class B crown with North Braddock in 1954 after a 7-7 tie in the playoff finals. Before coming to Midland, John had been an assistant football coach at Baldwin High School from 1946 to 1948. He then returned to his alma mater Duquesne University to serve as freshman football coach in 1949 and assistant varsity coach in 1950. John graduated from Freeland High School in 1938 after four years of football, basketball, and baseball. He played college football at Duquesne from 1938 to 1941 as a quarterback for Coach Buff Donelli. John was a member of the famous Duquesne “Sweet Sixteen” players who went through three seasons with only one defeat. After graduating from college in 1942, John followed Coach Donelli to the Cleveland Rams and played two seasons there as a quarterback. He was quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1945 season before starting his coaching career. John retired from teaching in 1975 because of ill health. His two sons followed him into coaching: John, 32, served as assistant football and track coach at Canon-McMillan High School, and Bob, 30, was a wide receiver coach at the University of Virginia after stints as assistant coach for Joe Yukica at Dartmouth and Joe Paterno at Penn State.