Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Football: Judge to hire McKay as coach

Just as the Eagles did with Chip Kelly in January, Father Judge has tabbed an offensive innovator to direct its football program.

Football: Judge to hire McKay as coach

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Just as the Eagles did with Chip Kelly in January, Father Judge has tabbed an offensive innovator to direct its football program.

According to multiple sources, Mike McKay, who has impressed observers with his know-how in running a spread offense, will become Judge's new head coach. He is expected to be introduced in a 6 p.m. Tuesday press conference at the school.

McKay, who quarterbacked the Crusaders to the city championship in 1975, installed his version of the spread offense last year at Archbishop Carroll.

"He's someone who's not afraid to take chances," Carroll boss Joe Powel said of his ex-offensive coordinator. "He'll push the envelope."

McKay, 54, served as Carroll's offensive coordinator for one season. He has also made stops at Northeast, Upper Merion, Archbishop Wood, and the old Cardinal Dougherty. Reached Saturday, he declined to comment about the Judge job.

Powel said the two met as assistant coaches at Wood. At the time, Powel was an assistant to varsity coach Art Barrett and McKay a volunteer assistant with the freshman squad.

Said Powel: "I told Art, 'This guy can coach. He knows what he's talking about. He's got a lot of great ideas. We need to move him up to the varsity level.' "

In addition to Carroll, McKay coached under Powel at Wood and Upper Merion. They coached Wood to Catholic League Blue Division titles in 2004 and 2005.

"If he gets the Judge job, it will hurt us tremendously," Powel said Friday night. "But I know what it's like to be an assistant and want to be a head coach. I was in that position when I was in my 20s at Bishop Kenrick."

In 1975, with McKay under center and John "Whitey" Sullivan in the second year of a 25-year stint, the Crusaders downed Public League representative Frankford, 9-6, at Veterans Stadium for the city title.

McKay replaces Tommy Coyle, who stepped down after 13 seasons to take the top spot at Penn Charter.

"This could be a great opportunity for Mike," Powel said Friday. "He's only wanted to be the head coach at one place."

McKay, a terminal trucking manager in Langhorne, becomes only the sixth head coach in Judge's 59-year history and just the third in the last 39 years.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at robrien@phillynews.com.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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