Coach Frank Delano’s 100th Win: A Q+A

Joseph DeSimone, Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Coach Delano recently achieved an important milestone in his career. He won his 100th game as a high school head coach with a 35-0 victory against Woodbury on October 9th. I had the chance to interview Coach Delano and ask him about his feelings on this milestone and about his career in general.

What does winning your 100th game mean to you as a coach?

As a coach, it means that we have put together a really good product and there are a lot of great people around us. This has never been about me. It has always been about we. It means making sure that we have the best coaching staff to surround our kids. It means that we have great kids that are committed athletically as well as academically. It means we have tremendous support from parents who really care about their kids and it just means in general that our program has come a really long way. And I guess you can say that this happened over a short period of time because, usually, you play only ten games in a season.

To what do you credit your long-term success as a coach?

Again, tremendous kids and tremendous coaches and tremendous parents. We are all in this thing together. It’s one of those deals where it is never a one-man show. It can’t be. Surround yourself with good people and great things happen. And I have been very lucky to have guys like Coach Miller on staff and teachers in the building who I know other kids look up to as role models. We are just very blessed to be in a great situation. We have a tremendous youth program too that continually teaches great kids.

When did you think achieving such a milestone might be possible?

You really don’t. You don’t get caught up in it like “What number are we at?” It becomes “Wow, can we win? How do we help our guys get to win the next game?” We always talk about the emphasis of “It wasn’t week 12. It wasn’t state finals. It’s week one, week two.” We speak in weeks and all of a sudden you sit there and a couple of weeks prior you say “How bout that? We were getting close and someone told me about it. Really, you don’t think about it. We just want our kids to have the opportunity to compete in the conference and get that privilege to play in the playoffs. And it is a privilege because every team doesn’t make it in football. You may be 5-3, or 6-2, and not qualify to be in. So you just worry about getting better each week and hopefully the wins pile up.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?

Everything. The challenge. The relationships that we build with our players. We have had 161 seniors come through the program since 2002. And to be fortunate to do what I love everyday and be surrounded with my best friends in terms of my staff. To be around great kids that are passionate about athletics and passionate about their schoolwork. To be around this great game. I’m just very humble and appreciative.

What are some of your favorite memories over the years?

There are so many of them. They’re not always about wins and losses. For instance, at the banquet when we give our seniors their jersey in a frame, that jersey means something different for every kid. Some of them might just remember good plays that they will think about when they see their jersey on their wall. For others, it might be that they finished something because they said they would. I think there are so many different memories or championships. We will never forget those. We will never forget big wins. We will never forget the seniors that have helped build this program. So again, to pinpoint a specific memory would be unfair to certain classes so we’re just continuously proud of the program that we have been able to build.

Is there an important lesson you have learned about coaching and getting the most out of your players?

That’s a really good question. I think each kid is treated kind of equally but differently. You know some kids need some tough love and other kids need a little bit of TLC. You can be sure that we are building relationships and they know that we care about them outside of the facemask, not just behind it. I think once you build that relationship, you’re going to do something great.

Is there anything the players have taught you?

Yes. Really, they have! You watch the way these kids work and their selflessness and how they care about each other and their teamwork. Then they need to go out and do it and perform it on a daily basis, on the field, off the field. I watch the way these kids are committed to everything. It’s not just athletic programs. They are involved in clubs and extracurriculars and mission trips to build homes. I just watch how they care about their communities and their families. It’s really special.

Why did you decide to coach football?

Because I was surrounded by great guys like Coach McDevitt for so long and I have been very fortunate because I’m 39 years old. I’ve coached the team for 14 seasons. And being in the stands isn’t good enough. Not having butterflies in your stomach every Friday night. It’s something that my youth football coach Bill Gillan, the greatest man I’ve ever been around would have expressed. He just made it fun and the challenge makes it all worth it. Again, being around different guys in my lifetime like Coach Miller, Coach Kahoun, and Coach Halloway and to have been fortunate enough to be around Jim Warner, who was another great influence in my life. I think you can be around a lot of great people and see elements of coaching. Now it’s awesome that Coach Miller is a head coach and getting a chance to bounce some ideas off of him as well. We’ve just been really lucky to be surrounded by a lot of great guys.

What are your goals moving forward and do you think 200 wins might be possible?

Wow! 200! We’re just trying to get to 102 but I don’t know. Sure, you always have stuff to strive for but we’re more about team-oriented goals and we love our kids. We love the state of our program right now. It’s a great time to be a Bulldawg, there’s no doubt. Our freshman team is loaded. Our sophomores and junior class continue to get better. Our seniors are leaving us in great hands and our youth program is doing phenomenal things. So listen, I don’t know if 200 is in the mix. That’s a long way away. You know, we just think there are really some good years ahead of us. We are proud of the product we have put together.

Quotes From Players: A couple of players gave some feedback on what they thought about Coach Delano and expressed their appreciation for all of his hard work:

“He’s great as a coach. He knows what he’s talking about and knows more about the sport than anyone I’ve ever been coached by before.”

~ Brian Jones

“Coach Delano is one of the best coaches in the state. He connects with the kids and incorporates everyone into practice. He’s a great guy to be around.”

~ Jason Garstkiewicz

Congratulations to Coach Delano on his 100th win!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
The Student News Site of Haddonfield Memorial High School
Coach Frank Delano’s 100th Win: A Q+A