New Susquehannock High School head football coach is following in his father's footsteps
- Joe Sorice is the new head football coach at Susquehannock High School.
- It is his first varsity head coaching position. He's been an assistant for the last decade.
- Joe Sorice's father, Tony, was also Susquehannock's head coach from 1991 through 2002.
Joe Sorice is following in the footsteps of his father — and he couldn’t be prouder about that fact.
Sorice, who will be 34 on Saturday, was approved as the new varsity head football coach at Susquehannock High School last Thursday. It’s his first job as a varsity head coach.
It’s also the same job that his father, Tony, held from 1991 through 2002.
The similarities don’t stop there. Both father and son were also players at Delone Catholic High and graduated from the McSherrystown school. Joe is a 2006 Delone grad, while Tony is a 1975 grad.
Now, if Joe gets his way, his father will help him in his new role as the Warriors’ head coach. Tony led Susquehannock to a Y-A D-II crown in 2000.
“Currently he does not coach, but we've had a few nice long talks about him joining my staff, in some capacity,” Joe said about his father. “It's a very unique opportunity to get to coach with my Dad, and I don’t want to pass it up.”
Joe said that his father is his No. 1 role model.
“I could not ask for a better father or role model,” Joe said. “He's taught me so much about everything, growing up, being a father, how to handle adversity. I can only hope to be half as successful as he has been. I've really been blessed to have him as my Dad.
“It’s always great to talk football with him, whether we're watching the Steelers game or just talking X's and O's, there's always something to learn from him.”
Susquehannock is coming off a 5-5 season in 2021, including a 2-4 mark in York-Adams Division II.
Longtime head coach Steve Wiles resigned after the season ended. Joe, a health and physical education teacher at Susquehannock High, had been a varsity assistant under Wiles for the past two seasons.
Wiles enjoyed a 22-year career as a head coach at Hanover, Delone Catholic at Susquehannock, compiling a 132-101 career mark, including a 29-37 record at Susquehannock. His stint at Delone included District 3 titles in 2007 and 2012. He led Susquehannock to a Y-A D-II title in 2017, when the Warriors finished 8-3.
The Warriors were 8-62 in the seven seasons before Wiles was hired in 2014.
“Coach Wiles has taught me a lot about football and how to run a successful program,” Joe said. “Everywhere he's been, he's had a great deal of success. He's one of the best coaches in (York-Adams) history, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to not only play against him, but coach with him as well.”
His playing and coaching career: Joe was a standout player at Delone, where he was a running back and defensive back. He was the York-Adams Division III Player of the Year in 2005, when Wiles was coaching at Hanover.
Joe also played in college at East Stroudsburg for three years before injuries forced him to stop playing.
After graduating from college, he was an assistant coach for the Susquehannock junior high team. In 2012, he coached at Hanover under Mike Ketterman as the special teams coordinator, while also coaching running backs and defensive backs.
In 2013, Joe took a physical education job at Perry Hall High in Baltimore County, where he had the opportunity to work with Keith Robinson, the current Fallston High head coach and a Maryland Big 33 assistant. He was the junior varsity head coach at Perry Hall from 2013-2017, winning a county championship in 2015 while going 10-0.
In 2018, he got his teaching job at Susquehannock and coached two seasons on the junior high team before moving up to the varsity.
Getting a chance to run his own program: Joe said the ever since his time at Perry Hall, his goal has been to run his own program.
Now he has that opportunity, but wins and losses will not be his only priority.
“The expectations of the program moving forward (are) to prepare our student-athletes for life after Susquehannock, and football is a great way to do that,” he said. “Coaching is an extension of teaching, and we are going to prepare our guys for success in the classroom, in the community and on the field.”
Joe believes that the 5-5 record in 2021 was a major step forward from the 0-6 mark that the 2020 Warriors had during a pandemic-shortened campaign.
“We were able to create some great momentum last season, and we’re going to keep that going in 2022,” Joe said. “Our guys have been working hard in the weight room since the end of the season and we’re excited to get back on the field.”
Thus far, the new head coach says he’s been well received by his players.
“Throughout the interview process, a bunch of guys have stopped me in the halls asking for details and telling me that they hope I get it,” Joe said. “Since it's been official, I've received numerous 'congrats' and 'let’s-get-to-work' texts and emails from our guys. We have a great group returning, and I can't wait to get started with these young men.”
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @ydsports.