Former Penn-Trafford Championship team assistant named new Latrobe football coach

Ronald Prady has had two recent state championship seasons at Penn-Trafford — as an assistant football coach last fall and as an assistant softball coach in 2019.

Wildcats fans hope he continues this winning trend as the new coach of Latrobe’s football program.

The school board on Tuesday named Prady to lead Latrobe’s coaching staff. He succeeds Jason Marucco, who resigned after eight seasons with a 20-56 record with two WPIAL Class 5A playoff appearances.

Prady has been teaching junior high math at Greater Latrobe since 2006. His additional coaching salary has yet to be determined.

A native and resident of Penn Township and a 1990 Penn-Trafford graduate, Prady coached his children at PT: Jake in football and Allie, who was on the championship softball team.

“It was really hard to leave Penn-Trafford,” he said, “but my kids have grown up. It’s a great opportunity for me to coach where I teach. It’s a different challenge . I’m really looking forward to it.”

His wife, Liz, is also a faculty member at Latrobe, teaching middle school English.

“As much as I love the Penn-Trafford community, so much do I love these (Latrobe) kids,” Prady said.

Prady has crossed paths with many Wildcats players in his class and on the opposite side of the court. He plans to meet them all as a team on Wednesday.

“We have great athletes here, great kids,” he said. “I look forward to working with them. I’ll get to know them a little better as I go along.

Another priority for Prady will be to complete his coaching staff.

Given the time constraints, he said: “Coaches are getting harder and harder to find now. You’re not doing it for the money, that’s for sure. You do it for the love of children and the love of play.”

Prady expressed his respect for the hard work of Marucco and his team. But, he said, “I just think we need some cultural changes,” based on the elements of success he’s acquired in his 25 years of coaching.

“You can’t win without being tough, and you can’t be tough physically without being tough mentally,” he said, adding, “You have to play good defence.”

Prady has been on the Penn-Trafford football team for a decade, having served as an assistant at Franklin Regional and under Latrobe’s Pat Murray in 2006 and 2007.

Since then, he says, “offences have evolved. People started spreading the ball a lot.

Recently, Prady coached linebackers at Penn-Trafford, but he was an offensive line coach at Franklin Regional.

“I’ve been lucky enough to coach both sides of football,” he said. “You learn the whole game that way.”

Prady began his teaching and coaching career with a brief stint in the San Diego area. Then he coached at several schools in Virginia, serving as the head football coach at Caroline High School in 2001-04.

Jeff Himler is an editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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