NEW CASTLE —
WRITING ON THE WALL
After graduating from high school, Young became the first Laurel High graduate to receive a full scholarship to a Division 1 institution when he accepted Penn State University’s offer to play football for Joe Paterno.
Young saw time as a guard and as a defensive end on the Nittany Lions’ freshman team.
“He impressed them,” Miles said. “Down at Penn State, he was a terror. When they had their first-team offense on the field, they wanted him playing defense, because they knew he’d give them a good look.”
During spring practices, the Penn State coaching staff shuffled Young between offensive guard and defensive tackle, but future NFL standouts Bruce Clark (a New Castle native) and Matt Millen arrived in Happy Valley soon after.
“I loved Penn State and sometimes, I think I should’ve stayed, but the handwriting was on the wall,” he said. “Bruce Clark ended up being a All-Pro defensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints. Once Matt Millen ended up in the pros, they moved him back to linebacker.”
After sitting out a year due to NCAA regulations, Young became a two-year starter at tackle for Westminster and earned All-American recognition.
“A bunch of guys I played ball with were at Westminster,” he said. “I wanted to play, so I decided to transfer there, because it looked like I wasn’t going to get to play at Penn State. At that time, Westminster had a great program. We didn’t win a national championship when I was there, but I had a lot of fun.”
HIS LIFE’S WORK
After graduating from Westminster, Young became an assistant coach under Miles for the 1980 WPIAL championship football team.
“It was very exciting,” Young said. “We had a good team. They came together at the right time and put on a nice run. I think we surprised Clairton a little bit. It was a very exciting game. It was a hard-fought game.”
In 1987, Young became an assistant principal at Neshannock and served as its head football coach for three seasons.
“It was one of the most rewarding times of my life,” he said. “I started coaching after Bob Bleggi retired. We had some lean years when I first got there. My third year, we were 5-5 and what hurt us was numbers. We only had like 25 kids on the team. Those kids really worked hard and really believed in what we were trying to do. They overachieved. We weren’t overly big and didn’t have a lot of speed. They were a smart group of kids and they competed.”
He stepped down as football coach to continue his education at Carnegie Mellon University before taking an assistant principal position at North Allegheny High School.
“I was married and had two kids,” said Young, who with his wife Patrice has two sons, Robert and Patrick. “I started thinking along the lines of providing for my family. I could make more money as an administrator. That ended my athletic career.”