The list of open head football coach jobs at local high schools had dwindled to just one earlier this month when Burgettstown hired Greg Marshall.
That last remaining vacancy in the area has been filled, but it has caused another local school to hang a “Help Wanted” sign.
The Central Greene School Board recently hired Aaron Giorgi as the head coach at Waynesburg. The position had been vacant since the unexpected death of coach Chad Coss in December.
Giorgi spent nine years at Jefferson-Morgan, the last six as the Rockets’ head coach. Giorgi said he wasn’t actively pursuing other coaching jobs. He was content to remain at Jefferson-Morgan, yet he couldn’t shake a memory about some of the glory days of Waynesburg football.
“I have always been interested in the Waynesburg job,” Giorgi admitted.
Giorgi played his college football at Waynesburg University, where he was a running back for the Yellow Jackets. But it was when he was a junior high school student at Charleroi and watching his older brother Marc play for the Cougars against Waynesburg that left a strong impression on Giorgi.
“I can remember watching my brother play against Waynesburg, when they had some really good teams. There was nothing more intimidating than seeing those guys in those black shirts coming off that hillside and onto the field. They came in like they meant business.”
And the Raiders played like it, too. They advanced to the WPIAL Class 2A championship game in 1999 and 2000, winning one title. From 1998 through 2001, Waynesburg won 43 games.
“When I played, there was an intimidation factor you had to overcome when you played Waynesburg,” Giorgi recalled. “Until recently, there was still that factor.”
That change might have started when Waynesburg was pushed up to Class 3A in football and had to play in the same conference as statewide powerhouses such as Aliquippa, Beaver Falls and Central Valley. The Raiders are back in Class 2A with more familiar opponents and natural rivals.
Waynesburg was 0-7 last year, including 0-6 in the Century Conference. The Raiders, however, were one of the youngest teams not only in the conference but all of Class 2A. Giorgi said Waynesburg still has the potential to build what they had a couple of decades ago.
“What I saw on film was not a lack of want-to from the kids,” Giorgi said. “From talking to the coaches, there was just a lack of experience on Friday nights, and that means a lot. I am very encouraged by what I saw on film. I saw a lot of positives. I saw linemen and backs playing hard, I saw a defense attacking.”
Jefferson-Morgan won 16 games under Giorgi and had a 3-4 record in the shortened 2020 season.
“I was happy as Jefferson-Morgan, 100% happy,” Giorgi said. “The administration, the kids, the parents, they were all supportive. Unfortunately, some unforeseen circumstances at Waynesburg happened and the job opened up. It was not an easy decision to make. There are a lot of good people at Jefferson-Morgan and I don’t want that program to go amiss. It’s sad leaving Jefferson.
“But I’ve lived in the Waynesburg community and I wanted to go back to that community and give back to that community. I want to re-establish a winning culture at Waynesburg.”
Jefferson-Morgan has started the process of posting the coaching position.