After serving over a quarter-century as an assistant football coach at two different area high schools, Bill Corrente welcomed the opportunity to become a head coach.
Corrente, 48, received that opportunity Monday night, when he got a unanimous 8-0 vote of approval by the Central Cambria School Board to become the Red Devils' new head football coach.
Corrente, who teaches history at the Central Cambria Middle School, brings a wealth of football coaching experience to the new appointment.
He was an assistant coach, and later, a defensive coordinator, for the past 11 years at Portage High School, after previously serving 15 years as an assistant coach, including nine years as an offensive coordinator, at Central Cambria.
Central Cambria opened its head varsity football coaching position after the 2012 season. The Red Devils were 2-8 in both of previous coach Sam Shutty's two seasons at the helm.
"I'm itching to get moving,'' Corrente said in a telephone interview Monday night. "I have a huge, huge task ahead of me, and I'm just taking the approach of trying to get better each day. This is a super opportunity, and I'm thankful that I got such good support from the school board, the administration, and the athletic director.''
Corrente was one of five applicants for the position. Central Cambria athletic director Ron Stempka is impressed with Corrente's work ethic in both the classroom and on the football field.
"Bill is a really good teacher in the classroom, and this will easily carry over to the football field,'' Stempka said. "He's a hard worker who is a very good motivator, and he works well with the students. We're very pleased with his appointment as the new head coach.''
Corrente is a 1983 graduate of Portage Area High School and a 1987 graduate of Slippery Rock University. He played quarterback with the football programs during his days at both schools.
Corrente is grateful for having had the experience of having coached in solid football programs at both Portage and Central Cambria.
"I've been in a wonderful program with Coach [Gary] Gouse at Portage, and the same thing at Central Cambria,'' Corrente said. "Being part of two good programs like these has shown me what it takes to build a strong program, and has helped me plan for what I'm doing.''
Corrente plans to hit the ground running, and will begin supervising an offseason weight-training program for the players on the 2013 team this week.
"It will be a learning curve for me, but I'm excited,'' Corrente said. "The first thing I'm going to do is to meet with the athletic director [today], and meet with the staff to find out who is on board from the programs in the lower grades right up through the varsity level. Then, I'll jump right into the weight room on Wednesday.''