Catasauqua Press

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mike McClarin is new football coach

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Mike McClarin won’t forget his experience at the Naval Academy anytime soon.

In fact, he plans on building some of its foundations in his approach as the new head football coach of the Catasauqua Rough Riders.

McClarin, a former Liberty High standout and assistant at the school, and at Dieruff High School, was approved at a school board meeting Tuesday night to head the program. McClarin takes over for Phil Dorn, who resigned after posting a 9-36 record over the previous four seasons.

It didn’t take McClarin long to apply for the job. He filed his paperwork as soon as it opened, and it was the only head coaching position that interested him.

“This job really interested me,” brimmed an energetic McClarin. “It (Catasauqua) is a great place and a strong, tight-knit community. Catty has a great football tradition and there is a lot of support there.”

McClarin is a 2006 graduate of Liberty High School, where he helped the Hurricanes to the 2005 PIAA Class 4A final. He went on to play his freshman year as a defensive lineman at the Naval Academy and then was sidelined his sophomore year with injuries. As a result, McClarin served as the team manager and ran the scout team.

He then transferred to Moravian College where he was a two-year team captain.

But it was at the Naval Academy where McClarin realized he wanted to a be a coach someday and also institute the same sense of commitment in his program someday.

Now, he will get his chance at Catty.

“When I was at Navy, I knew I wanted to be a coach and head coach,” said McClarin. “I knew that I wanted to give back to the community and help young men. I want to bring the same kind of high energy and discipline at Catty.”

McClarin has strong football roots. His father, Robert, coach at the high school level in the Lehigh Valley for 25 years before joining the staff at Moravian College. Brother Bobby, a former Navy standout, runs the Five Star Heart program that assists middle school students on and off the field.

After a two-year stint at Liberty, McClarin joined the staff at Dieruff, where he worked with the defensive line and special teams. He also teaches at Dieruff.

At age 30, McClarin is one of the youngest head coaches in the Lehigh Valley. He will complete his staff soon and plans to have veteran coaches and former Catty players involved. McClarin liked the method of former head coach Tom Falzone, who surrounded himself with former veteran head coach and assistants.

He also is well aware that the Roughies lost 18 seniors to graduation, notably their entire offensive line, quarterback, and a starting running back and a pair of starting wide receivers from a 3-9 team last season.

McClarin plans to meet with the team next week and then soon begin in the weight room.

“I saw what Tom Falzone did here with his coaches,” said McClarin. “I may be the youngest coach around and I want to be surrounded by veteran coaches. Football has been my whole life and I have been very fortunate to have some very good coaches in my life. They really influenced me.

“This is a fresh start and will be a challenge. Everyone’s job is open, and there are opportunities for everyone. I can’t wait to get started.”