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Donald A. Yannessa

Coaching ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

Don Yannessa wasnít the first movie actor to be inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame, but he certainly has one of the best coaching records. Wib Estermyer and Joe Namath beat him to the silver screen, but Don chalked up an amazing record in his 16 seasons as head grid coach at Aliquippa High School. Between 1972 and 1988, Don's Quips won three WPIAL football championships with a 128-43-5 record, which helped Don secure a job as technical advisor for the 1983 20th Century Fox feature film release, ďAll the Right Moves,Ē in which he also had a small role as a football coach. (Ironically, all three of Donís WPIAL Class AAA football titles came after the film.) In 1984 the Quips topped Mt Pleasant, 20-15, in the title game and blanked rival Ambridge, 13-0, in 1985. After missing the 1986 playoffs, the team captured their third WPIAL crown in 1987. Aliquippa went all the way to the WPIAL championship game in 1980, 1982, and 1983 but did not win. Don played his high school football at Aliquippa as a star tackle for Coach Carl Aschman, and after graduation in 1958 played college football at New Mexico State University as a two way tackle. While he was a regular at New Mexico State, the Aggies won consecutive Sun Bowl games in 1959 and 1960. The latter team had an 11-0 record and was considered the best in the schoolís history. After graduating in 1963, Don coached junior high football at Aliquippa until 1968, when he went to Ambridge as first assistant coach then returned to Aliquippa as head coach in 1972.