Council Rock North's Tom Vivacqua stepping down from coaching

by Drew Markol, The Intelligencer

Posted on March 23, 2020

Article originally appeared here:
https://www.theintell.com/sports/20200314/council-rock-norths-tom-vivacqua-stepping-down-from-coaching

Ask him to name his favorite wrestler from his long coaching career and Tom Vivacqua just laughs.

"There have been so many great kids over the years - way too many to name," Vivacqua said. "I was just fortunate to coach as long as I did and to still be in touch with an awful lot of those wrestlers whom I can call friends.

"I know I'm going to miss coaching, but it was time. We have a lot of young, very capable and energetic assistants that can step in and do a great job and keep things going."

It will be a tall task trying to replace Vivacqua, who spent the last 19 years as the head coach at Council Rock North and the 16 years before that as an assistant for the Indians when there was just the one high school.

"When you think about it, 35 years, it really hits you," Vivacqua said. "But I truly enjoyed it and I know that I won't be able to stay away and will still be around the program.

"It still feels a little strange, though, and I'm sure it will for a while. But wrestling coaches tend to have tunnel vision and I need to expand and do things outside of wrestling and will do that.

"I can retire from teaching next year if I want to and that will open up more possibilities. But we'll see what happens."

Vivacqua's final season was one of his best as a school-record four of his wrestlers - Cam Robinson, John Lucerne, Kyle Hauserman and Dillon Sheehy - won PIAA Class 3A state medals and helped the team finish fifth overall.

"Coach Vivacqua has been one of the most influential figures in my life," Robinson said. "He helped me develop so much as a wrestler for sure, but more importantly he helped me develop as a person. I thought that maybe he would coach for one more year. But he's been coaching for a long time and I understand why he's stepping down."

Robinson placed second in Hershey for the second straight year while Lucerne was third, Hauserman fourth and Sheehy seventh.

"This was a great way to go out," Vivacqua said. "All of those kids gave everything they had and really helped make it a special season."

All told, Vivacqua, 58, coached 20 PIAA state medalists and had two PIAA state champions in Rocky Mantella (2001) and Jamie Callender (2010).

"We've had so many talented kids come through the program," Vivacqua said. "And that's a credit to the youth coaches and my assistants for making those kids better and those kids devoting themselves to the sport.

"It's not about me - it's about us. To make a program strong you need to have so many people helping and willing to put in the work and we've had that.

"I just feel lucky that I was able to be a part of it for so long."

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