Ray Reitz accepts head coaching position at Latrobe
Written by: Josh Funk on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
Come next fall, Ray Reitz will still be the head coach of a high school football team. But he won’t be leading the Jeannette Jayhawks out onto the field. He’ll be leading the Latrobe Wildcats.
After serving as Jeannette’s head coach for the past four seasons and guiding the Jayhawks to three straight trips to the WPIAL “AA” semifinals, Reitz accepted the vacant head coaching position at Latrobe High School.
“I didn’t apply for the (Latrobe) job,” Reitz said in a phone conversation Wednesday afternoon. “They came after me.”
Reitz said that Latrobe also offered him a position as an in-school suspension monitor in addition to the head coaching job.
In his four seasons as head coach at Jeannette, Reitz compiled a record of 48-6. Before he became the head coach, he had served as the Jayhawks’ defensive coordinator for over two decades.
Reitz will probably be more remembered for his 2006 and 2007 Jeannette teams, which each won WPIAL titles and went 30-2. The 2007 team, ranked #25 in the nation by the USA-Today, claimed the school’s only PIAA football title and scored a state record 860 points. Reitz was named the AP’s Class “AA” Coach of the Year in 2007.
Jeannette finished the 2008 season with a 10-2 record and a loss in the WPIAL semifinals to eventual runner-up Beaver Falls.
Reitz inherits a Latrobe football team that has won just 37 games in the past decade. The Wildcats made four trips to the WPIAL playoffs (2001, 2002, 2005, & 2006), and all were first round losses by a combined margin of 150-27 (an average of 37-6).
Latrobe last won a WPIAL football championship in 1968, defeating Kiski Area 19-7. It was the first and only time the Wildcats reached the WPIAL finals in football.
The Wildcats’ best season record in the last decade came in 2001. That year, Latrobe went 7-3.
Reitz already has two assistant coaches as a part of his staff: recently retired Penn-Trafford and former Jeannette head coach Art Tragesser and former North Allegheny head coach Jim Rankin. Rankin won a PIAA football title in 1990.
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