Allegheny's Matlak Announces Retirement

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MEADVILLE, Pa. – Allegheny College head football coach Mark Matlak has announced his retirement, effective at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
A 1978 Allegheny graduate and 1989 inductee into the school's Hall of Fame, Matlak was hired in April 2002.  He will retire as the longest-tenured head coach in the 123-year history of Allegheny football, having presided over 141 games.

"I have been coaching college football for 36 seasons," said Matlak.  "and it has been a passion.  All coaches live in a competitive and stressful world, working to assist student-athletes to be the best they can be in school and on the field.  Fortunately, I am healthy, and I plan to step away from that world to enjoy some quality time with my wife and son."

In his 14-year coaching career at Allegheny, the Bridgeville, Pennsylvania native amassed 62 wins, the second most in team history, while his teams finished at or above the .500 in 10 different seasons.
Matlak wasted little time in making an impact upon his return to his alma mater.  In just his second year at the helm, he led the Gators back from an 0-3 start to end the season with seven straight wins.  The team clinched the 2003 North Coast Athletic Conference championship, and advanced to the NCAA Division III national playoffs, where they suffered a heartbreaking 20-19 loss to Montclair State.  Following the season, he was named the NCAC's Coach of the Year.
Matlak coached three All-Americans and 66 All-NCAC honorees during his tenure at Allegheny, including 27 First Team All-NCAC picks, as well as the first player in program history to be named the conference's Newcomer of the Year, linebacker Nick Murgo in 2014.
During his tenure, Matlak coached a number of school record-holders, including TJ Salopek '10, passing completions and passing yards;  Bubba Smith '04, touchdown passes; Jon Turner '04, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions;  Ryan Zipf '11, field goals; and David Pisanick '04, quarterback sacks.
In addition to their success on the field, Matlak's teams also earned a number of laurels for their academic performance.  He coached three of the five players in team history to be named CoSIDA Academic All-America: punter Aaron Polack (2003), tight end Rob Carlisle (2010), and linebacker Brad Burkley (2013).  Carlisle went on to become just the fourth player in team history to win the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, while 2015 graduate Jesse Battaglia was named a national semifinalist for the 2014 William V. Campbell Award, which recognizes the most outstanding scholar-athlete in college football.
In 2012, Matlak was on the sidelines for one of the more monumental victories in program history, as Allegheny joined exclusive company with its 13-0 shutout over Hiram in the season finale for its 500th all-time win.
Prior to arriving in Allegheny in 2002, Matlak served as defensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire for 13 seasons, while adding the title of associate head coach from 1999-2002.  Over the 13-year span, the Wildcats went a combined 82-59-1, winning three Yankee Conference championships.  He coached a pair of players who enjoyed successful careers in the NFL: Ilia Jarostchuk, who played for the New England Patriots, and Jerry Azumah, who was named the 1998 Division I-AA Player of the Year before going on to star for the Chicago Bears.  Matlak was named the Assistant Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston in 2000.
He began his coaching career at Allegheny in 1978 as an assistant under fellow Hall of Fame inductee Sam Timer for five years, while he also served as Allegheny's head baseball coach.
Matlak was a four-year starter for the Gators from 1974-77 during one of the most successful eras in program history, as the squad went a combined 25-8.  A three-time All-Presidents' Athletic Conference honoree at running back, he ran for 2,382 yards and 28 touchdowns, and was named the 1977 PAC Offensive Player of the Year.  Inducted into the Allegheny Hall of Fame in 1989, he was selected in 2014 to the PAC's 60th Anniversary All-Time Team, recognizing the top players in the league's long history.
"Mark is a great Alleghenian," said Allegheny President Dr. James H. Mullen.  "As a player and as a coach, he has made a tremendous difference for his Alma Mater, and those who played for him are better persons for having done so."
Allegheny Director of Athletics and Recreation Portia Hoeg echoed the sentiments of the president, saying, "I want to sincerely thank Mark for his countless contributions to Allegheny College, both as a student-athlete and as a coach.  Day in and day out, it was easy to see his passion for the job.  Mark has impacted the lives of countless young men, parents, and community members, and he represents what is great about our College.  He has enjoyed a remarkable career, and I know I speak for everyone in the athletic department when I wish him nothing but the best as he enters retirement."
The Gators have three games remaining on the 2015 schedule, and will play host to Hiram this Saturday, Oct. 31, beginning at 5 p.m. in what will be Matlak's final game on the Frank B. Fuhrer Field sidelines.  Prior to the contest, the team's 11 seniors will be recognized for their playing careers.  Matlak will also be honored in a special pregame ceremony with President Mullen and Hoeg. 
"I have been privileged to meet many wonderful people along this path," Matlak said, "including student-athletes, parents, administrators, and alumni, and I have been fortunate to work with a bunch of quality coaches along the way.  I would like to thank everyone for making my coaching journey a great one, and I thank Allegheny College for the opportunity to be the head coach at my alma mater."
A national search for Matlak's successor will begin immediately.  Interested candidates are asked not to contact the Allegheny athletic department, but to follow the application protocol that will be spelled out when the job is posted on Nov. 2.

Maintenance in progress.
Dec. 9: All times Eastern
Mount Union 43, at UW-Oshkosh 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Brockport 0
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Dec. 15: All times Eastern
Mount Union 12, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 0
@ Salem, Va.
Video Box Score Recap Photos