Dakosty to return as Marian coach
Stan Dakosty wasn’t sure he would ever step on the sideline again.
As the face of Marian football for 40 seasons, Dakosty led the Colts to 309 wins, seven District 11 titles, six conference championships and the 1990 PIAA state crown during a decorated career before stepping down in 2016.
The time away allowed Dakosty to spend time with his family, something he cherished.
But his passion for the game remained as strong as when he initially began his tenure at Marian in 1977.
And it’s something that will continue when Dakosty leads the Colts once again in 2020.
Dakosty, along with Principal Jean Susko, announced on Wednesday that he will return to his position as Marian’s head coach next season, taking over for Pat Morgans, who stepped aside almost two weeks ago.
“After thoughtful consideration and the support of my family, I am proud and excited to return as the head football coach of Marian Catholic High School,” Dakosty said in a release. “As the head coach, my intent will be to run a first class program that will bring out the best of the Marian student athletes on and off the field. I will be reaching out to the Marian family, who have been so supportive to our program in the past, asking them to continue the support and to build upon it. “
With injuries taking a toll and numbers dwindling, the Colts endured a 1-9 season in 2019, one that ended with forfeits in their final two games. Marian’s lone victory was a 9-8 triumph over Shenandoah Valley in Week 8.
Morgans had led the team for the past three seasons.
“Really, it was a process I entered into with the encouragement of a lot of people,” said Dakosty. “I would not have gotten to this point without the support of my family. My wife, Mary, who has been absolutely incredible, and my son Stan, who is up at Colgate, and my daughter Kathy giving me the blessing on this, and that was the clincher for me.”
“I heard from former players, who were calling me; former coaches were calling me; kids at school were dropping in my room asking me what I was thinking.”
The answer was that Dakosty was ready to return the Colts to prominence, a process he cautioned would take time.
“I want to be very clear, there’s no magic wand here,” Dakosty said. “I don’t have all the answers. But I’m coming back because I love Marian High School, I love the students, the faculty and I love the Marian Football program.
“Our goal is to bring back the Marian Football program to a point where people are not going to be talking about us not doing things, but talking about what we did. What we did on the field, not the fact that we couldn’t anything.”
Dakosty, who is also the school’s athletic director, offered praise for the players and coaches on the 2019 squad.
“The coaches and players that took part last year worked their hearts out trying to get this thing going,” said Dakosty. “What we’re going to try to do now is build on their efforts, try to work to increase the numbers. We have a philosophy of how we want to do things, and we’re going to stay with that philosophy.
“I’ve got some great coaches coming on board … I’m going to get together with those guys and get our game plan going, and I’m excited. I’m excited about it because it’s a challenge, but it’s about something I care about very deeply.”
In addition to his accomplishments on the field, Dakosty has also sent over 270 players onto play college football, many of whom have gone on to coach football.
“I want these young men who play Marian football to play with a sense of pride, a sense of excitement for what they’re doing, and I want them to use the game as a means to an end,” said Dakosty. “It starts in the classroom, and that’s emphasized heavily in our program, and there could be opportunities out there for them to join the hundreds and hundreds of other Marian players that have played college football. If that’s not their desire, we want them to be good students and good citizens, and that’s what we’re going to work at.
“Those are core beliefs of this program. Those are core values that we operate by. Winning football games is nice, but sooner or later football games are going to be over, and you have to work at winning in life, as far as family, work and things along those lines.”
Dakosty relished the opportunity to work with his son, Stan, the Associate Head Football Coach at Colgate University, over the past three years.
“I want to thank the Colgate football family,” said the elder Dakosty. “My three years up there, even though I wasn’t coaching high school, I was volunteering up there and got involved, and they opened their doors to me … and I got to work with some outstanding athletes working with the offensive line. And I just want to thank them for giving me that opportunity; I’ll never forget it.
“They have a first class program. A special thanks to Coach (Dan) Hunt (head coach) and Coach (Brad) Dunlay (assistant coach/run game coordinator/offensive line coach), who really opened up the offensive line room to me. And my guys on the offensive line, I’m going to see them this weekend against Fordham, I’ll be up there with them, and next weekend at Lafayette. It’s real emotional because I’ve gotten to know these guys really well.”
Dakosty has had the opportunity to travel to some legendary places with Colgate, like the 19,000-seat Fargodome, home to North Dakota State, which won five-consecutive NCAA Division I FCS National Championships between 2011 and 2015, as well as two more in 2017 and 2018.
Those moments reinvigorated Dakosty, sparking a fire he carried with him back to Marian.
“I was sitting in the press box this year, and I said to somebody in general, ‘I want to see this stadium packed again before I die,’” said Dakosty. “When Men of Marian Stadium was filled on Friday night, there’s nothing like it, there really isn’t.”
While family was critical in helping Dakosty make his decision, knowing he also had the full support of the administration made things that much easier.
“I do want to thank our Principal, Mrs. Susko, for her faith when she approached me about taking the job,’ said Dakosty. “Her faith in me as the person to take over the program and moving it in the way we want it to go, meant everything.
“I’m going to be retiring from teaching and as the AD next year, but I’m going to be coming into school part-time to help around the school. And that was a big thing for me, because I want to see the players every day. I will see them every day, and be with them every day. Seeing the administration, and groups like the Men of Marian, have made this place the way it is. I appreciate all that support.”