By Jordan Miller
CARROLLTON – The search for a new head football coach for the Carrollton Warriors has come to an end.
The Carrollton Board of Education has elected Phil Mauro to direct the Warriors for the upcoming 2017 football season.
Coach Mauro has been named Coach of the Year nine times with six different schools, he has led five schools to the state playoffs with 12 appearances and an overall coaching record of 180-110.
“Once I got to interview and meet with the administration and the positive direction where everything is going with the school district, it’s a golden opportunity to be able to come in right now,” Mauro mentioned. “We don’t put any limitations on any of the teams we coach because you never know.”
“My motto is to just ‘Be great’,” said Mauro. “We want our guys to be better than they have ever been; not that they haven’t been good but we want them to be better than they have ever been. We not only want them to be a better football player but we want them to be a better student than they’ve ever been, we want them to be a better citizen than they’ve ever been. I’m not saying that they haven’t been good but we want them to be a better brother, a better son or a better employee if they have a job.”
“If we can put all that together then they’re going to be a great success and that’s our goal,” said Coach Mauro. “To make these young men successful when they leave Carrollton High School.”
“We’re just going to focus on everything going forward,” mentioned Mauro. “Without actually being here yet I think it’s definitely ready to get there for sure. I think Coach (Eric) McCort has done a great job in a positive way. We’re looking forward to building on top of that. We just have to see where everything goes this year and we’re not putting any limitations on the team, that’s for sure.”
Mauro was the head coach for the Massillon Jackson Polar Bears from 1995-2006. He led the Polar Bears to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state playoffs in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2004. The Polar Bears won their first playoff game in school history in 2001 under the direction of Mauro. Jackson went 76-44 during Mauro’s 12 season stint. The Polar Bears won the Federal League title in 1996, 1998 and 2001 while Mauro was named Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2001.
In 1991 as an assistant coach, Mauro helped lead the Washington Massillon Tigers to the OHSAA state semifinals. The Tigers fell to St. Ignatius 14-13 in the semifinals.
Mauro’s first head coaching position was in 1982 at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas, posting a record 6-4 and earning his first Coach of the Year honor.
From 1986-87, Mauro led St. Francis DeSales (Columbus) High School to a 19-1 record while winning the Central Catholic League Championship in both seasons. The team also appeared in the 1987 state playoffs and Mauro was named coach of the year in 86 and 87.
Mauro spent two seasons (1988-89) at Lancaster High School, directing the team to a 15-5 mark and the school’s first playoff appearance and victory in 1989.
Mauro served as New Philadelphia’s athletic director from 1993-95 and as their football coach in 1993-94, posting a record of 9-11 and earning Coach of the Year honors in 1994.
Mauro’s most recent coaching opportunity was two stints with Canal Winchester High School (2007-11 and 2014-16).
Under Mauro’s direction, Canal Winchester won two MSL-Buckeye Division championships and appeared in the OHSAA playoffs in four straight seasons, 2007-2010. Mauro was named Ohio Coach of the Year in 2007 and MSL Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010. Canal Winchester posted a record of 41-29 during his tenure with the program.
“I went to Canal Winchester and they were 2-8 and after my first year they were 10-2 and had quite a year and got their first playoff win,” said Mauro. “Every year is a new year, that’s the great thing about football. It doesn’t matter what you did last year, good or bad. You could’ve been a state champ last year or you could’ve been 0-10 but really last year is last year.”
Mauro directed Bloom Carroll High School from 2011-12, taking the team to the playoffs in both seasons and leading them to their first winning season since 2000.
Mauro stated he does not have any assistant coaches he plans to bring in at the current time.
“My initial plan is to sit down and interview all of the existing coaches,” he said. “I want to see how our philosophies go together and if they do, that’ll be a situation where they can stay on board and feel comfortable with me. They’ve already put in a lot of time and effort here.”
Mauro concluded with how gracious he is to be selected to fill the head coaching vacancy.
“I’m very humble to be thought of for the position and with great pride I get to accept this position,” said Mauro. “In the first interview I could just feel the synergy in the room amongst the administration, the school board, the community members who were all a part of that interviewing committee. My mom taught me a long time ago always go with your gut because your gut won’t play tricks on you. I just had that feeling after the initial interview that if I was fortunate enough to be afforded the opportunity to be the head football coach that we were going to figure out a way to make it work.”
Mauro, a graduate of Harrison High School in New York, was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball) in high school.
Mauro has three adult sons and a wife, Mary, whom he has been married to for 35 years.
Coach Mauro plans to finish the semester as a substitute at Carrollton and has hopes to meet the students and staff.