There was little more that Steve Devlin could accomplish as Archbishop Wood’s football coach. He compiled a 132-22-1 record (.857 winning percentage) and won eight Catholic League championships, nine PIAA District 12 titles, and five state crowns in 11 seasons.
Wanting a new challenge and college position, Devlin stepped down as a coach and teacher at Wood on Friday to become the defensive coordinator at Division III Ursinus.
“I loved my time at Wood, and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Devlin, 46, said. “I’m so proud of everything we accomplished. More important, I’m thankful for all the relationships I’ve developed over the years at the school.”
“Obviously, he did a lot of special things for Wood, not only on the gridiron but also in the classroom,” Wood athletic director Joe Sette said. “His departure leaves a big void.”
Last season, Devlin guided the Vikings to a 12-2 record and Class 5A district and state championships.
Wood totaled 291 rushing yards and five scores on 28 first-half attempts in burying District 7’s Gateway, 49-14, in the state final at HersheyPark Stadium. It was the program’s fifth state title in the last seven seasons.
“Every year is exciting because it’s a new group, and you get to see the sacrifice and the hard work the kids put into it,” Devlin said afterward.
After losing to Catholic League Red Division rival and Class 6A state finalist St. Joseph’s Prep on Sept. 15, the Vikings won their last 10 games by a combined 432-117.
“Steve’s work ethic, his preparation, and the the bond he developed with his players were the ingredients he relied upon to build a winning program,” Sette said.
Devlin, who was the chairman of Wood’s business department, was an assistant at St. Joseph’s Prep under ex-Hawks coach Gil Brooks before taking over the Vikings in 2007.
Sette said Devlin met with Wood’s players on Friday morning to inform them of his decision.
Since the Catholic League joined the PIAA in 2008, Devlin directed the Vikings to the state championship game seven times. They won Class 3A titles in 2011, 2013 and 2014, and 5A crowns in 2016 and 2017.
Mike Carey, a longtime assistant and one-year boss at Central Bucks West during its heyday, was Devlin’s right-hand man for five seasons.
“This is something Steve has been thinking about for the last few years,” Carey said. “This is a natural move for him, to take the next step on the coaching ladder. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
“It was a terrific opportunity to coach football at a great college like Ursinus,” Devlin said. “I’m looking to add whatever I can to an already good program.”
Devlin produced multiple Division I players in his stint at Wood. Two Penn State players were offensive lineman Ryan Bates and linebacker Jake Cooper. Rutgers running back Raheem “Speedy” Blackshear, and Temple quarterback Anthony Russo are among those currently playing at the D-I level.
Wood is searching for a replacement.