Area mourns loss of O'Hara coach Danny Algeo

Cardinal O'Hara football coach Danny Algeo, an area fixture on and off the gridiron, died Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved coach, teacher and friend Dan Algeo," Cardinal O'Hara posted on its website.

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Danny Algeo, Cardinal O'Hara's head football coach and a fixture on the area gridiron scene, died Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week.

Algeo, 49, guided O'Hara for the last 10 seasons. Before that, he was in charge at Roman Catholic (1996 to 1999) and Phoenixville (2000).

Joe McCourt, Roman's seventh-year head coach, played under Algeo and then coached against him in the Catholic League.

"He was a salt of the earth kind of guy," McCourt said. "He would do anything for his players. If you played for him, he always remembered you."

A graduate of Lansdale Catholic and Gwynedd-Mercy College, Algeo taught personal and business law and sports management at O'Hara.

Each year, under Algeo's direction, O'Hara would host a College Night. The free event gave junior and senior football players in Delaware Valley the opportunity to meet with representatives from Division II and III schools.

Bonner-Prendergast football coach Greg Bernhardt assisted Algeo at Cardinal O'Hara from 2004 to 2006.

"Danny was one of my good buddies," he said. "He taught me a lot. Football was one thing, but Danny was a great overall person. He'll be sorely missed."

Algeo sent numerous players to the Division I ranks. In this year's NFL draft, quarterback Tom Savage (Pittsburgh) was tabbed by the Houston Texans in the fourth round. Wide receiver Corey Brown (Ohio State) was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Carolina Panthers.

"He certainly did a lot for his players," Bernhardt said. "But he would also do things for kids from other schools. When he got the chance, he would let college coaches know about them, too."

Another of Algeo's former players, Anthony Walters, has been in the NFL for the last three seasons. In 2011, after playing at Delaware, he joined the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent.

"When you think of Cardinal O'Hara, you think of Dan Algeo," Savage tweeted Thursday. "He impacted so many young men's lives. Such a monumental figure."

Algeo compiled a 68-42 record at Cardinal O'Hara. The 68 wins tied him for second on the school's all-time list with George Stratts. Overall, including his stays at Roman and Phoenixville, he posted a 98-69 mark.

In 2004, Algeo led Cardinal O'Hara to an 11-1 record and the Catholic League Red Division title. The Lions beat St. Joseph's Prep, 14-13, in overtime in the final.

He accomplished the same with Roman in 1999. That year, the Cahillites went 11-2 and captured the Catholic Red crown - its first championship since 1947 - with a 21-7 triumph over La Salle.

McCourt, a standout running back who went on to play at Lafayette, said Algeo was a "fiery coach. He knew how to motivate his players."

Algeo's father, Jim, spent 53 seasons coaching at Lansdale Catholic, including 44 as head coach. Danny Algeo was an assistant to his father after graduating from the school in 1983 and stayed through the 1995 season.

Danny Algeo, who previously served as O'Hara's athletic director, was one of Jim and Mickey Algeo's nine children.

In May, Algeo coached the East to a 35-25 win over the West in the annual Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) all-star game at Franklin Franklin Regional.

Algeo is survived by his daughter, Becca. Funeral arrangements were pending.