|E. Stroudsburg coach Douds nears PSAC wins record|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008 13:01|
The one not named Joe Paterno.
He's East Stroudsburg coach Denny Douds, who is a victory away from having the most wins in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference history. He could claim the mark Saturday if his Warriors (3-0) beat Shippensburg at home.
Douds has a career mark of 212-140-3 in 35 seasons as East Stroudburg's head coach. He is tied on the Division II conference's victory list with former Millersville coach Gene Carpenter, who had 212 wins from 1970-2000.
Douds has tried to keep things low-key this week, even through all the hype about the milestone.
``It means last week we beat Clarion, but this week we're trying to beat Shippensburg,'' Douds said in a phone interview when asked what the record means to him.
The 67-year-old coach said he might dwell on the milestone ``some day, when you get to sit back and smell the roses.''
Apparently, that's not happening any time soon. Douds has said he'll stop coaching when the job is no longer fun.
``I don't think he's ever going to give it up,'' linebacker David Pacchioni said. ``He enjoys it too much.''
Douds' resume is already chock full of accomplishments.
Going into the season, Douds was tied for eighth on the career wins list for active college football coaches, including FBS and lower-division schools. He's in select company on that list, which is topped by three Hall of Famers: John Gagliardi at Division III St. John's, Minn.; Florida State coach Bobby Bowden; and Paterno.
The 81-year-old Paterno, whose 43 seasons at Penn State are a record for head coaching longevity at one school, said Douds is close to some of the veteran assistants and administrators in the Nittany Lions program.
``Good guy, good coach,'' Paterno said Tuesday before his weekly news conference at Beaver Stadium.
The Warriors have won nine PSAC titles and three NCAA playoff appearances under Douds, including a berth in the national semifinals in 2005.
Born in Indiana, Pa., Douds played college ball at Slippery Rock, playing as both an offensive lineman and nose tackle.
tant coach at East Stroudsburg before getting promoted to defensive coordinator in 1968. He assumed the head coaching job in 1974.
He stayed, despite opportunities to move on to bigger programs.
``This is a level I thoroughly enjoy coaching at. You can have an impact on the kids you're coaching with - on the field, in the classroom,'' Douds said. ``It's more than a game just played on Saturday afternoons around here.''
PSAC commissioner Steve Murray praised Douds as a tireless champion of the conference, constantly trying to promote a league that often gets lost in the giant in-state shadow created by Penn State football.
It's Douds' dedication off the field that may have the biggest impact on his players, Murray said.
``I always say Denny always has his heart in the right place for his kids,'' Murray said. ``Those kids would live and die for him over there.''
Off the field, Douds' gruff, scraggly voice is offset by a friendly, grandfatherly demeanor. He is also on the faculty at East Stroudsburg as an assistant professor of sports studies.
Pacchioni said Douds has helped him control his temper on the field and to stay focused after the whistle blows. In preseason camp, Pacchioni said Douds offers daily tips on acting smart away from the field.
It's those interactions that has Douds energized to keep coaching - milestones or not.
``It's just like climbing a ladder,'' Douds said. ``You're always looking at the next rung.''