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Dan LaRocco named WRA head football coach

Staff Report Published: April 2, 2017 12:05 AM
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Dan LaRocco has been named the head football coach at Western Reserve Academy March 28, according to WRA Director of Athletics and Afternoon Programs Herb Haller.

"I am excited to have Dan LaRocco as our next head football coach at WRA," Haller said. "He is a passionate, competitive person who brings experience and success to our football program and understands the history of a school like WRA.

"I look forward to working with him and helping him continue the important history and recent successes of our football team."

As the new head of the 111-year old program, LaRocco succeeds Jeff Hildebrand, who stepped down in January after leading the Pioneers to a 9-1 record in 2016.

"The WRA community is pleased to welcome Dan," head of school Christopher Burner said. "Last year's football team had a strong season and we look forward to many more.

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"Our athletic program is important to Reserve. Every student participates in sports. This year, eight of our students will go on to play Division I athletics in college."

A 2007 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University, where he was a member of the football and track and field teams, LaRocco brings experience as a strong offensive coordinator after spending five seasons in that role under current Hunting Valley University School head coach Ben Malbasa at Cleveland Benedictine, Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin and University.

In his 10-plus years of coaching, he has coached multiple offensive and defensive positions, including special-teams coordinator duties. In all, his teams accounted for a 54-41 record and four playoff appearances.

In addition to football, LaRocco also has coached track and field at both Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph from 2011 to 2015 and Notre Dame College in South Euclid.

As the boys and girls head coach at VASJ, he coached 23 state qualifiers and six all-state performers, including the 2012 boys 800-meter state champion relay team.

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His 2012 Viking boys' team finished as the Division III state runner-up. As the throwing coach at NDC, he guided both a men's and women's National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national qualifier in the shot put.

LaRocco holds a bachelor of arts, health and physical education from Baldwin Wallace University in Berea and a master of science in athletic administration from Ohio University in Athens.

A native of Brook Park, he graduated from Middleburg Heights Midpark, where he played football under head coach Pat Murphy. In 2001, the Meteors reached the Division I regional quarterfinals.

LaRocco currently resides in Strongsville with his wife Mary Griglak LaRocco and two-year-old daughter Alison.

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