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Prep Football: Angelly hired to head up Bulldog football program

  • Gabe Angelly was hired by the Harrisburg School Board Wednesday night in a 6-0 vote to replace Al Way, who resigned earlier in the month

    Gabe Angelly was hired by the Harrisburg School Board Wednesday night in a 6-0 vote to replace Al Way, who resigned earlier in the month

 
By Michael Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 6/29/2017 10:48 AM

Since 1981, only two coaches have replaced Al Way at Harrisburg High School.

The first was Greg Langley, now HHS Athletic Director, in 2002. The other was Jason Roper in 2006.

The third is now Gabe Angelly who was hired at Wednesday night's special board meeting by a vote of 6-0.

This hire makes Angelly the 30th head football coach in HHS history.

Angelly, 40, graduated from Harrisburg High School in 1995 and after becoming a teacher in 2002 helped as a coach at the freshmen and sophomore level until 2010.

Angelly returned for one year in 2013 to help at the freshmen level and then became an assistant on the varsity level the last two seasons.

Angelly said after he was hired Wednesday night, having his name amongst those that are considered some of the coaching greats at Harrisburg is a proud moment.

"It's such a honor for my name to be associated with coaching greats like Al Way, Chuck Hunsinger and Laurence Calufetti. Those names are staples in our community and it's an honor and privilege to have this position."

Angelly, who is an assistant principle at the Harrisburg Middle School, said he learned a lot while being under Way, who after his resignation is 198-81 in his head coaching career.

"Coach Way has been my mentor since I have been a student of football. I've watched how he has prepared and he has shown me how to succeed at that aspect of the game. After preparing, it's about teaching and that's what I am really looking forward to.

"One of the other things I look forward to is coaching with Josh Allen. We have been best friends for a long time and I get to coach with a guy who grew up in this system. That too is an honor and something I'll look forward to."

Allen was also a nominee to replace Way as a head coach.

Way resigned earlier this month after taking over for Roper in 2015. In those two seasons under Way, Harrisburg went 11-8, making the playoffs in 15 and missing out last season, going 4-5.

Angelly now has his chance to get the Bulldog program back on solid footing for a team who has missed the playoffs three out of the last five years.

The Harrisburg school board accepted Way's resignation on June 21st and hired Angelly Wednesday night.

In his first 21 years at Harrisburg, starting in 1981, Way had 18 winning seasons, including 11 straight from 1981-1991.

Way stepped aside after the 2001 season and returned for a second time in 2005, making the playoffs in Class 4A as Harrisburg went 9-2.

Way once again stepped down as head coach, making way for Roper, who assumed the reins from 2006-2013.

Way returned in 2014 and compiled a 13-15 record the last three seasons, including a 4-5 mark that saw the Bulldogs miss the playoffs for the third time in the last four years.

In all, Way was 186-74 in 25 years in his time at Harrisburg and qualified for the postseason 18 times, 13 of which were in Class 3A. As a one-time head coach at Eldorado, Way was 12-7, making him 198-81 in his head coaching career,

All numbers and figures are from the IHSA.org website.