Mike Junko- Head Coach
Upper St. Clair stayed close to home in naming its first new football coach in 40 years. Mike Junko, a 1992 USCHS graduate and former USC quarterback, was approved as head football coach on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.
“I am both honored and humbled to be named the next head football coach at Upper St. Clair High School,” Coach Junko said. “I look forward to honoring our program’s proud tradition as well as leading our players into a new and exciting future.”
Coach Junko’s USC ties run deep. In addition to being an alumnus, he is employed as a social studies teacher at Upper St. Clair High School. He and his wife, Misty, reside in Upper St. Clair with their two children, Ryan and Bryn.
As a two-sport athlete in high school, Coach Junko excelled in football and baseball. He was a member of the 1989 state championship football team and captained the 1991 team. In addition, he was a member of the 1992 WPIAL championship baseball team.
“Upper St. Clair is a special community and I look forward to leading our football program in this place that I am proud to call home,” Coach Junko said.
A graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in political science, he was a three-year starting quarterback and two-year captain of the Division 1 Zips. He earned First Team All-Academic Mid-American Conference honors.
Coach Junko has served as an assistant coach for USC for the past two seasons. Prior to joining the USC staff, he was an assistant coach at Mt. Lebanon High School for 11 years, where he held a variety of roles including offensive assistant, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
“Mike is an excellent choice to lead our football program into the future,” Dr. Kevin Deitrick, director of athletics said. “He is passionate about teaching and coaching and thrives on working with students to help them achieve success in the classroom and on the field.”
Coach Junko takes the reins following the departure of longtime coach Jim Render, who announced his retirement on Jan. 3, 2019. Coach Render amassed more than 400 wins in his 49 seasons of coaching – making him the winningest coach in WPIAL history.
Jeff Donati- Assistant Head Coach/H-Backs/Safeties
2019 will mark the return of Coach Donati to the Upper St. Clair football program. He is a familiar face that has coached high school football for the past 25 years in the South Hills. In addition to coaching at Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon, Jeff coached some of the most successful 9th grade teams to ever play at USC. Beloved by many Panther alumni, Jeff is currently the proprietor of Donati Florist in Bethel Park and lives in Mt. Lebanon with his wife Brooke and their children Tucker, Sydney, and Kendall.
Josh Ficorilli- Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2019 will be Josh's second year coaching with the Panthers and 13th overall. Prior to USC, "Coach Fic" was responsible for running backs and linebackers at Quaker Valley, and was the defensive coordinator for their WPIAL and PIAA Championships. He will be serving as defensive coordinator for the Panthers in 2019. Josh has been a Health and Physical Education teacher for the last 17 years and is also the Head Volleyball coach here at USC. He and his wife, Andrea, live in Peters with their children, Marlowe and Rocco.
Tim Robbins- Defensive Tackles
Coach Robbins will be entering his 13th year coaching at Upper St. Clair which is his 22nd overall. Tim has been a physical education teacher for 22 years and this will be his 11th year teaching at Upper St. Clair. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife reside in Upper St. Clair and are the proud parents of Katelyn, Tyler, and Ryan.
Pat Corr- Defensive Ends
2019 will be Pat's 8th year coaching the defensive ends on the varsity staff. He is entering his 18th year as a football coach and as a science teacher. He currently teaches 7th grade science at Fort Couch Middle School. He played football for Fox Chapel from 94-98 and for Mercyhurst University where he graduated in 2002 with a degree in biology education. Presently, he resides in Upper St. Clair with his wife Lindsay and three children Finn, Liam, and Molly.
Shawn Morton- Running Backs
Shawn enters his 26th season as the offensive backfield coach. A graduate of Slippery Rock and Clarion Universities, he teaches Health and Physical Education at USC High School. Coach Morton played high school football at Bethel Park, where he was inducted into their Hall of Fame, and college football at the University of Cincinnati and Slippery Rock. Shawn has coached football at both the college and high school levels for 33 years. As a player and a coach he has been a part of 7 WPIAL championship games and 2 State championship games. Shawn resides in Cecil with his wife Kelly.
Joe Figura- Wide Receivers
2019 will be Joe's 7th season with the Upper St. Clair Panthers. Before coaching at Upper St. Clair Joe was an assistant coach at Mt. Lebanon for 19 years. He spent eight of those years as the offensive coordinator. Joe graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently a mathematics teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School. He resides in Scott Township with his wife Karen and their two children Morgan and J.R.
Tom Stilley- Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator
2019 will be Coach Stilley's first year at Upper St. Clair. He has spent the last 22 years coaching the offensive line at Mt. Lebanon. In addition to be being a part of the many conference and WPIAL championship teams Tom has helped to coach a number of players that have gone on to careers in college as well as the pros. He curently is a special education teacher in the Mt. Lebanon School District. He and his wife, Christine, live in South Fayette with their children Amelia and Jackson.
Phil Elias- Offensive Line/Linebackers
2019 will be Coach Elias' first year with the football program. Phil comes to Upper St. Clair after serving as a coach in the Mt. Lebanon football program. A long time coach and director of the USC youth program Phil is also the father of former Panther and current Marietta College Pioneer Phil Jr. He currently lives in Upper St. Clair with his wife Brooke and their children Abby and Grady.
Bryan Althaus- Director of Scouting and Development
A 20 year coaching veteran Bryan returns to the Panthers for his 7th season. Bryan played football at Mt. Lebanon High School and Westminister College. He received his Masters degree in Instructional Technology from Duquesne University. In addition to previously coaching for Mt. Lebanon for 13 years Bryan currently teaches math in the Mt. Lebanon School District. Bryan resides in Scott Township with his wife Christine and their two children Bailey and Brody.
Wayne Capers-Wide Receivers/Secondary
2019 marks the first year Wayne will be working with the Panthers after playing professionally for the San Diego Fleet of the AAF league. Wayne played college football for the Duquesne Dukes where he was a 2016 NEC First Team All-Conference selection. While at Duquesne he totaled 102 receptions and led the Dukes with 22 career TD's. Averaging 17.5 yards per catch for his career Wayne also played in the defensive secondary for the Dukes.
Dan Cafaro- Secondary
Dan enters his first year on the Upper St. Clair staff after spending time as a coach at Mt. Lebanon. A former panther, Dan was a three-time all-section honoree at Upper St. Clair where he compiled 16 interceptions and 12 blocked kicks during his three-year varsity career. He scored 16 touchdowns and blocked eight kicks as a senior in addition to helping the team to a three-year record of 32-5 (.865), including three WPIAL Class AAAA playoff berths. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 'Fabulous 22' and Pittsburgh Tribune Review'Terrific 25' player that went on to The University of Pittsburgh where he was a recipient of the Demale Stanley Award, which goes to the team's most inspirational player. He additionally was a 2008 finalist for the 'Rudy Award,' which honors college football players who demonstrate exemplary character, courage, contribution and commitment.
Sam Gaetano-9th Grade Assistant
Sam enters his first year at the ninth grade level, but he has been a part of the Upper St. Clair middle school program for the past four seasons. A standout as a player at Upper St. Clair Sam brings an impressive record as a head coach at Fort Couch. losing only one game over the past two seasons.
Gordon Mathews- 9th Grade Offensive Coordinator
This is Gordon's 7th year coaching football and his 5th coaching for Upper St. Clair. Previously Gordon played and coached at Washington and Jefferson College where he obtained his bachelor's degree. Coach Mathews received his master's degree from Duquesne University and currently works as a Guidance Counselor. Gordon is also a graduate of Upper St. Clair and served as a Captain of the football team during his senior year. He currently resides in USC with his wife, Lauren, and their golden doodle, Nala.
Matt Mellinger- 9th Grade Defensive Coordinator
This will be Matt's 3rd year coaching on the football staff at Upper St. Clair. he previously coached 2 years at Bethel Park. Coach Mellinger has been in the district for 18 years serving in various positions including as a physical education teacher and Athletic Director. Matt has his Bachelor's degree from Indiana University of PA in education and his Master's in Administration. He and his wife Dana reside in Upper St. Clair with their two children Makaela and Shane.