Latest Issue

Girardi Stadium

Girardi Stadium

Coach Frank Girardi is a legend. My man changed the landscape. There aren’t enough words to describe him. The honors and praises keep coming. Lycoming College will honor Girardi once again this weekend. They will officially rename the stadium after the Hall of Fame coach during the football team’s home opener on Saturday, September 9th. He is so deserving.

Frank Girardi did everything the right way. He established himself as one of the nation’s best during his historic 36-year tenure. Girardi finished his career with an impressive 257-97-5 record (72.3%-win percentage) from 1972 to 2007. Those wins put him in the top 25 all-time in NCAA history and 10th in the Division III ranks. Coach G led Lycoming to 11 Division III playoff appearances with two trips to the National Championship game in 1990 and 1997. He was named MAC Coach of the Year 12 times and captured 13 MAC titles during his time.

Girardi was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016. That was insane. I remember talking to Coach when the news broke. He was very surprised and humbled. He took time to entertain some questions. Something that he always did for me when I was broadcasting his games. I ended up writing a short column, and he was on the Webb Weekly cover. It won me a lot of praise. But I received the ultimate compliment when Coach called again a few weeks later. He just wanted to say thanks.

Girardi became the Maxwell Football Club’s first recipient of the Tri-State Coach of the Year Award in 1999. Coach is in five other halls. Lycoming College Athletics. West Branch Valley Sports. Pennsylvania Sports. West Chester University’s Football and the Middle Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame. Girardi received the NFF Central Pennsylvania Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The first ever Williamsport Area School District’s Distinguished Alumni Prize. Coach G mentored 10 First Team All-Americans, Two First Team Academic All-Americans, and 219 First Team All-Conference selections during his reign. A fancy bronze bust proudly stands in front of Lycoming’s field that will soon bear his name. Impressive resume.

Girardi is a legend. He is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Coach G has 257 career victories. Yes. His achievements are unrivaled. But his impact on his players and those around him is what makes Coach Girardi so great. He wasn’t just a successful football coach. Frank Girardi is a phenomenal person. You can’t miss his dramatic personality. My man coined the phrase “cat” and has been using words like “kid” and “cray” since the early days. I have never met anyone who makes everyone feel so good. His players believed in him.

Coach G knew what buttons to push. It did not matter if you were the starting quarterback or a student who was broadcasting games. Girardi “dared his players to be great,” and he preached teamwork, pride, character, and discipline for 36 great seasons. Coach continues to do the same today. His former “guys” and coaches adore him. The students and fans did, too.

Coach Girardi is special. He still brings out our best. I saw him at the Lycoming College Football Golf Outing a few weeks back. My man has the gift of gab. He knew everyone who was there. He worked the crowds and certainly made my day. Coach came over and asked about my son. We didn’t talk about football or coaching. He was more concerned about what sports Jensen was playing. It was great.

I had a chance to touch base with G earlier this week. I only wanted to say congrats. Coach was very appreciative. And he said all the right things. He thanked his former players, other coaches, friends, and his family. He was again humbled but looked forward to the ceremony. Coach was excited, not only for the honor but he knew many of his “guys” were coming in. He mentioned his phone has been ringing, which is just more icing on the cake.

Coach and I talked for a few minutes, and I left that conversation amazed. He still has that gift. It is so hard to explain. When I hung up the phone — I wanted to lift weights. Seriously. The guy is an unbelievable motivator. His players can certainly relate.

I am thrilled for my friend. He is so deserving. I will always remember our colorful interactions whenever I am on Lincoln Ave. Girardi Stadium. Fitting. Congratulations. Cheers.