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Coaches Profiles

Mike Ricci - Head Coach 

Mike Ricci was hired as the Garnet Valley head football coach in 1986, and since then, he’s turned the Jaguars into one of the best programs in the talent-rich state of Pennsylvania on an annual basis. Last year, for the 3rd consecutive year, Garnet Valley reached the District 1 6A semi-final game, bowing to eventual District 1 Champion, Coatesville, finishing their season with a 12-1 record. In 2016, he engineered one of the most impressive postseason runs in recent history, guiding tenth-seeded Garnet Valley to the inaugural District One Class 6A championship game. The Jaguars beat the No. 7, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on the way to the title game, averaging 35.7 points per game in that stretch. In 2017, the Jags continued where they left off the previous year, defeating some of the most storied programs in PA football history, CB West, North Penn (36-35 after trailing 35-7 in the 4th quarter), and Pennridge, before losing to Coatesville in a fantastic football game during their second consecutive appearance in the District One Class 6A championship.

Heading into the 2019 season, Ricci holds a 229-122-1 record (which makes him one of only 5 head coaches in Delaware County history with at least 200 wins--Kevin Clancy, Steve Lennox, Phil Marion and Joe McNicholas are the others) with 15 postseason appearances, including eight straight berths at the state’s highest classification. In 2007, he led Garnet Valley to the PIAA Class AAA state title game on the heels of its second consecutive District One championship. Since joining the Central League in 2008, the Jaguars have gone 89-12 under Ricci’s guidance, including five league championships. He installed a full two-platoon philosophy in 2006 (which, since 2016, has been more like a 1.5 platoon), and Garnet Valley has thrived because of it, racking up a 134-29 overall record in that span (114-16 regular season).

Under Ricci’s leadership, the Jaguars have set numerous records, including most wins in a season (13 in 2007), best records (13-2 in 2007, 12-1 in 2008 & 2018), and most points in a season (496 for an average of 38.2 per game in 2018). His teams are a mainstay in state polls. He was named the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2016, Eastern PA Football’s Big School Coach of the Year in 2007, Delaware County Hall of Fame’s Coach of the Year for all sports in 2007, and the Pennsylvania Football Coaches' Association District 1 Coach of the Year in 2007; he also earned the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.  In 2008, the National Football Foundation presented him with their "Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award." He was selected to coach in the Big 33 game in 2008 and the Pennsylvania East West game in 2016.

Four of his assistant coaches have gone to be head coaches, while two of his former players are high school head coaches and another is a collegiate defensive coordinator. More than 100 of Ricci’s players have gone on to play collegiately. He is one of the most well-respected coaches in the state and his Jaguars teams have earned a reputation as disciplined, smart and aggressive teams.

Ricci operates under the belief that football is the least important thing that his team does. He aims to use the sport as a way to help his players reach their full potential in school, athletics, social situations and at home. His biggest goal is that his players become good husbands, fathers, employees and community members. More than 100 players come out for the team every year. It’d be impossible for them to all play, yet they still want to be a part of Garnet Valley football, which speaks volumes to the impact that Ricci and his staff have on their players.

Ricci lives in the Garnet Valley district with his wife, Connie, as well as their children, Jonathan (University of Delaware class of 2022), Matthew (GV 2022), Theresa (GV 2023) and Natalie (GV 2023). He can be reached at riccim@garnetvalley.org

Rich Boyd Jr. - Offensive Coordinator   

Rich Boyd has been part of the Garnet Valley coaching staff for the past 14 years. In 2018, his offense averaged an eye-popping 38.2 points per game, including nine games of more than 40 points and two games of more than 50 points, as the Jaguars advanced to the District One semi-final game. Under Boyd's direction, the Jags’ offense has been a hallmark for disciplined execution; in addition, several sections of the school record book have been completely rewritten.

Boyd has been at the helm of the Jaguars’ offense for the past 10 seasons, and in 2018, the Jaguars averaged a whopping 371.4 yards per game on the ground. Under Boyd's guidance, the Jaguars have consistently ranked among the area’s top offenses, no matter the personnel changes.

The Jaguars’ option-based offense has given defenses fits on an annual basis and Garnet Valley has carved out a reputation for producing excellent offensive linemen. In the past six seasons, Boyd’s offense has scored 38.2, 37.7, 30.1, 29.7, 36.4 and 35.5 points per game.

Boyd was the Chester County Player of the Year and Valor Bowl MVP as a senior at West Chester East in 1998. A 2003 Delaware alumnus and a 2008 graduate of Immaculata, Boyd also has past coaching stops at West Chester East and Downingtown East before arriving at Garnet Valley. Entering his 17th year as a physical education teacher at GV, Boyd recently completed his CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning) certificate through NSCA. He most enjoys the relationships developed and the culture that’s been created within the program.

Boyd and his wife, Becca, have three children, Tessa, Leo & Rosalie.

Jeff Allison. - Defensive Coordinator 

Jeff Allison was tabbed as the Garnet Valley defensive coordinator in 2010. In 2016, his defense only yielded 20.2 points per game and played an enormous role in helping the Jaguars to the District One championship. His defenses are known for their fundamentally sound play, their tough, physical style and for finding a way to allow multiple players to have tremendous impact on the field.

Allison’s defense’s finest season at Garnet Valley came in 2013, when his unit only yielded 12.4 points per game as part of an 11-1 season, including one shutout and five games of less than 10 points allowed.

A 1989 Interboro graduate and a 1995 and 2005 alum of Widener University, Allison was a captain for the Bucs in his senior year and was a two-time captain as a defensive back for the Pioneers. He got his coaching career started at his alma mater, where he led the Bucs’ defensive backs and linebackers and helped guide Interboro to 125 wins in 13 seasons.

Allison takes great pride in watching players develop into leaders both on and off the field, especially when they return after graduation to visit the program. He enjoys seeing former players pass on the values of selflessness, character and work ethic, which he embraces as the pillars of the Garnet Valley football program.

Allison has worked at Interboro High for 21 years (beginning year 22) and serves as the school’s Dean of Students. He lives with his wife, Connie, and his children, Lindsay, Maggie and Brody.

Greg Mink - Kickers / Technology

Greg Mink has spent more than a decade and a half (year #16!) on the coaching staff at his alma mater. He works with the kickers & wide receivers, and oversees all of the technology components within the program.

Mink graduated from Garnet Valley in 1988 and from Shippensburg University in 1992, where he excelled as a kicker. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Jaguars’ kicking game and a historical perspective of the program that the players love him to share.  He loves the program’s family atmosphere.

Senior Telecommunications Engineer with IBC for nine years, Mink and his wife, Carrie, have three children: Makenna (Penn State class of 2022), Cullen (GVHS class of 2021)  and Merrin (GVHS class of 2024).

Lance Panarello - Defensive Backs 

Lance Panarello has been a mainstay on the Garnet Valley football coaching staff for more than two decades. He enters his 23rd season on the Jaguars’ staff, where he works with the team’s defensive backs unit.

A 1990 Garnet Valley alumnus, he won the Garnet Valley Football Coaches Award, his most proud achievement. He also serves as the BYC football safety coordinator and coaching coordinator, and he’s also coached for BYC since 2007. He earned the Marcus Hook Oldtimers community service award in 2014.

Panarello has a gift to relate lessons learned through football to the lessons that players will need to be successful in their lives. Players routinely come to him for advice and guidance. He operates Dental Health Care Associates, Delaware County’s first green office. He and his wife, Jaima, have two children, Roman and Wyatt.

Julius Flynn - Defensive Backs   

Julius Flynn has coached at Garnet Valley for more than 15 years. A 1986 alumnus of the school, he has helped the Jaguars produce several top-flight defensive backs and lockdown pass defenses. His players are known for their footwork, their intelligent play--and for their ability to hang on to the 80 mile per hour bullets he throws!

Flynn has also coached at Brandywine High before returning to his alma mater. He was the first player in Cheyney history to earn first-team All-PSAC in all four seasons. A Cheyney Hall of Famer, he was the school’s Athlete of the Year and an All-American nominee in 1989. He also collected a host of East Coast Athletic Conference awards.

Flynn serves as an educator at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Institute. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Dominque and Skylar.

John Paul Battiste - Strength & Conditioning / Running Backs    

For more than a decade (since 2007), Jon-Paul Battiste has been an invaluable member of the Garnet Valley football coaching staff. He is the brains behind the Jaguars’ brawn as he developed, monitored, evaluated and improved the current, widely acclaimed strength and conditioning program. In 2018 season, an incredible 23 players earned membership into their “1,000 Pound Club” (attained by having 3 lifts--bench press, squat and dead lift--total 1,000 or over), while another 40 or so tested at 800 or more pounds.

A 1994 graduate of West Chester East and a 2000 product of West Chester University, Battiste has carved out a reputation for himself as an exceptional S&C coach. One of the Philadelphia Eagles former strength coaches called Battiste’s a, “phenomenal program,” and Garnet Valley is annually one of the strongest teams in the area. His favorite aspect of the program is the summer lifting, where he gets the most time to mold the players.

A man of few words, Battiste commands attention when he does speak. He won the 2008 Pennsylvania Co-Ed Slow Pitch softball state championship and was a 2014 Crossfit Regional Athlete. He has been a special education teacher for the past 17 years. Coach Battiste and his wife Caitlin have one son, Ashton.

Marc Panepinto - Safeties & JV Head Coach

Marc Panepinto has been a mainstay on the Jaguars’ coaching staff for the better part of the past decade. In his 11th year on the staff, he works with the Garnet Valley safeties and is also the JV head coach.

A 2003 Boyertown alum, Panepinto was the PAC-10 Player of the Year and a two-time All-Berks County selection. He was an Outstanding Scholar-Athlete at Moravian College, where he graduated in 2007, and served as a co-captain at both schools. He coached for a year at his alma mater as the running backs coach before joining the Jaguars’ staff.

A social studies teacher at Garnet Valley for the past nine years, Panepinto cites the brotherhood amongst the players as his favorite part of Garnet Valley football. He lives with his wife, Krystle.

Paul Graham - Offensive Line  

Paul Graham is in his 8th year of coaching at Garnet Valley. He joined the Jaguars’ staff after stops as Radnor’s offensive coordinator in 2012 and Penncrest’s head coach from 2002 to 2010.

Graham was a two-time All-Central selection, as well as an All-Delco pick and a team captain, as an offensive lineman at Upper Darby. A 1998 graduate, he attended Ursinus College, where he was twice selected as a team captain and twice earned All-Centennial Conference plaudits.

Graham has helped develop Garnet Valley’s offensive line into one of the finest in the state since his arrival. He cites coming to practice every day as his favorite part of the program. He has taught mathematics at Penncrest for the past 17 years.

Paul and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Paul and Kevin.

Dave Wrezesniewski - Linebackers  

Dave Wrzesniewski has been on the Jaguars’ coaching staff for the past ten seasons, where he’s worked extensively with the teams’ linebackers.

Wrzesniewski played linebacker/fullback at Strath Haven, where he graduated from in 1990. He also played in the 1990 Hero Bowl. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, where he played two seasons before injuries halted his career. He has also volunteered at the Brandywine Youth Club as a coach, board member and football committee member for the past twelve years

Wrzesniewski takes full advantage of the opportunity to give everything he has to make Garnet Valley’s players successful on the field, but even more importantly, in life. He enjoys sharing his perspective, developing leadership and watching our young men grow and mature.

A Manager of Regional Pharmacy Operations for Giant Food Stores, where he’s worked for since 1995, Wrzesniewski and his wife, Polly, have two children, Grace (PSU, 2022) and Will (GVHS, 2022).

Rick Stroup - Tight Ends   

Rick Stroup made his return to the Garnet Valley coaching staff two years ago after spending six seasons as Penncrest’s head coach. He previously served as an assistant coach at Garnet Valley from 2000-2010. During that span, Stroup’s role as the Jags defensive coordinator and right hand man to Ricci was integral to their multiple District Championships, Central League Championships and state title game run.

Stroup broke into coaching in 1978 as Kutztown University and never looked back. Since then, he’s been a head coach at Sun Valley and Oxford High Schools, as well as an assistant at West Chester University, Cheyney University and Swarthmore College. He graduated from Kutztown in 1977, and during his career, he was an All-PSAC MVP at linebacker. A 1973 product of Lehighton High, he garnered All-Lehigh Valley tight end and defensive end honors, as well as a spot in the Carbon County Athletic Hall of Fame.

Stroup enjoys working with all of the young men and their families, as well as the coaches. Retired from FedEX, he now works as a paraprofessional in the school’s special education department and he and his wife, Vanessa, have four children: Jason, Jon, Kara and Kate. He is also a grandfather to Nora, Lucy Milo, children of Jason and his wife, Amanda and to Adeline, Jon and Jenna's 4th month old.

Eric VanWyk - Freshmen Head Coach / Asst. QBs  

Former Garnet Valley standout quarterback Eric Van Wyk is in his 8th season as a coach at his alma mater, where he’s also helped coach the baseball team.

As a senior, Van Wyk quarterbacked the 2007 Jaguars to the state championship game against Thomas Jefferson. A 2008 alumnus of the school, he went on to pitch for four years at La Salle University and earn All-Big 5 team honors in 2010, as well as an Atlantic-10 Scholar Athlete award.

Van Wyk enjoyed the life lessons that he picked up through the program, as well as the beliefs of selflessness, character and hard work to go along with the positive impact that the coaches have had on his life. He is in his 8th year as a seventh grade social studies teacher at Garnet Valley Middle School, and he and his fiance, Hilary, look to tie the knot in the summer of 2020.

 

Jeff Hill - Defensive Line   

Jeffrey C. Hill enters his 2nd year as part of the GV coaching staff, after spending extensive time on the Glen Mills and Penncrest staffs.

Hill was the defensive line coach for the Battlin’ Bulls from 1983 to 1992, as well as 2002. He was the team’s special teams coordinator from 1992 to 1995, as well as 2010-2011, and its defensive coordinator from 2003-2008. At Penncrest, he handed the Lions’ defensive line in 2000 and 2001.

Hill also brings impeccable powerlifting credentials to the staff. He was the head powerlifting coach at Glen Mills from 1982 to 2003, where he helped turn the Battlin’ Bulls into a national powerlifting powerhouse that won an unprecedented 13 National Powerlifting Championships. He earned the USAPL Powerlifting National Coach of the Year award an incredible nine times.

A 1977 Dover High graduate and a 1981 Salisbury State College alumnus, Hill enjoys the opportunity to help young men become better young men. He was a Program Development Coordinator at the Glen Mills Schools for 38 years, where, without question, he made an incredibly positive impact on all whom he encountered.

Hill and his wife, Jane, have two sons, Ross and Luke.

Craig Stephenson - Linebackers   

Craig D. Stephenson begins his second stint on the Garnet Valley football coaching staff this season. He also helped coach the Jaguars from 2011-2013.

Stephenson brings plenty of coaching experience to the staff with 27 years at John Dickinson (Del.), including 17 as the head football coach and earning a spot in the school’s Hall of Fame. He also spent three years on the Sun Valley High staff, working with running backs and linebackers.

Stephenson was a first-team junior college All-American at Wesley Junior College, where he was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. A first-team All-Blue Hen Conference running back at John Dickinson High School (DE), he also matriculated at Duke University, where he was selected to play in the 1974 Blue and Gray Football Classic.

Stephenson proclaims to, above all else, enjoy the experience of Garnet Valley football, from the coaches, players, managers, school staff, students and parents. A proud Vietnam War veteran, Stephenson earned a Bachelor of Science from West Chester University in 1990. He and his wife, Susan, have a daughter, Leslie.