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Dunmore Names McHale To Replace Henzes; Clark Replaces Lacertoso


Dunmore’s next era in football and boys basketball started Wednesday night. Longtime football assistant Kevin McHale was chosen as the successor to legendary head football coach Jack Henzes. Meanwhile, Kevin Clark was appointed to replace Tony Lacertoso, who is retiring from teaching and did not re-apply for his post as boys basketball coach. Also, Bob Coyle is the new golf coach, filling another vacancy left by Lacertoso’s retirement. McHale, 41, played fullback and linebacker for the Bucks and Henzes, and helped lead the team to a Big 11 championship in 1993 and a share of the Big 11 crown and the District 2 Class 2A title in 1995. He went on to standout as a fullback and tight end at Moravian College and has been a social studies teacher and assistant coach at Dunmore since 2002. As an assistant, McHale accepted the title of defensive coordinator in 2008. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead a program that has such a great tradition and amazing community support,” McHale said. “I am thankful to the school board and the administration at Dunmore for their support. “This community of Dunmore is a special place. The program is special both locally and on a state level. We are going to work to build on that reputation and continue to improve each day.” During McHale’s 17 seasons as an assistant, which includes 2018 when he teamed with assistants Jeff Mills and Michael DeSando to guide the program to a District 2 Class 2A championship while Henzes recovered from a preseason heart procedure, he has helped the Bucks capture nine District 2 titles. “I think the one thing about this program is, we have stressed the importance of academics and being involved in the community, not just being an athlete,” McHale said. “Just yesterday, we had players volunteering at St. Joseph’s Center. They are student-athletes and they must serve their community, while also striving to be outstanding players.” McHale transitions into the role as head coach held by Henzes for the last 48 years at Dunmore. In late April, Henzes submitted his resignation citing his a health concern and ended a 52-year career with 444 wins, the PIAA Class 1A championship in 1989 and three other appearances in a state final (2007, 2012 and 2014). Dunmore won 11 District 2 championships (10 in Class 2A, one in 1A), nine Lackawanna Football Conference division championships, eight Big 11 titles, and had an undefeated season and Eastern Conference Class A title (1985) in Henzes’ stay. “It’s very emotional for me,” McHale said. “It’s a dream come true and we hope for the best health for coach Henzes. “I have been very fortunate to coach under the best high school coach ever for 17 years and for that I am forever grateful. Not many people have that opportunity to learn the game of football, and how to conduct yourself, from the best there ever was. “That is something I will strive and work very hard to continue.” Clark, like McHale, is part of the Dunmore athletic lore. A career 1,000-point scorer, former All-Region player, and member of the program at St. John’s University, he returns to his alma mater after coaching mostly at the collegiate level. Following his graduation from St. John’s, Clark, 30, coached as an assistant to Pat Kennedy at Pace University for two seasons, then became head coach at Lackawanna College, while following with a year as an assistant at Keystone College. His most recent experience came as head coach of the Scranton Shamrocks of the American Basketball Association. “Obviously, having worn the jersey myself, Dunmore has a special place in my heart,” Clark said. “I am looking forward to coming back to the program and help these kids in years to come.” Clark will take over for Lacertoso, who is the all-time leader in career wins at Dunmore with 256. “It’s going to be a family atmosphere,” Clark said. “I am really excited to lead a program that already has that deep-rooted pride and a passionate community already instilled in it.” Coyle, who had been the coach at Riverside, takes over the golf program for Lacertoso, who replaced Mark Finan for the 2017 season and promptly earned Times-Tribune Coach of the Year honors. Contact the writer: jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9125; @sportsTT on Twitter

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