Orlando enters his 6th season as the head coach at McDowell, leading the Trojans squads to four District 10 titles and into the Elite 8 in the PIAA state playoffs. The Trojans have been ranked in the top 10 in the state several times and ranked as high as 5th in the state in 2016. The Trojans have averaged over seven wins in each of the four seasons since taking over.
Orlando was named the NWPFCA District 10 coach of the year in 2013, won a state championship in 2012, and led an offense that scored the most pts. in Pennsylvania history and most passing yards in a state championship game. He was just selected to coach the Pennsylvania East West All-Star game in 2019. The last four quarterbacks under his direction have gone on to play at Michigan State, Penn State, Mercyhurst and Edinboro University. In 2016 alone, 10 players from the McDowell Football team went on to play college football.
Since 2014 the Trojans have produced 6 all-state, 11 All-Western Pa, and numerous All District and Region players
2016 Collin Christensen/2017 Nate Davison tied for single season receptions record
2015-2016 Qb Levi Becker holds all McDowell single season and career passing records
2014 Jake Tarasovitch – rushed and threw for 1,000 yards in senior season ( 4th in D10 history)
Billy Fessler – 3,300 yards, 45 TD’s and 13-1 record. Led all of PA in points scored that season, PSU QB
2012 AAA State Champ
Damion Terry – 3,700 yards and 62 TDs in 15-0, State Champion senior season, Michigan State QB
2009 – Two 1,000 yard rushers, and QB Shyquawn Pullium 1,000 yard rusher and passer
2003 Kyle Mitchum, All-American and Ohio State guard
Coach Orlando was a multi-sport athlete in high school, graduated from McDowell, and went on to play collegiate football and baseball at Penn State University. He was a linebacker and pitcher for the Nittany Lions. He began his coaching career in 1999 under the leadership of Jon Cacchione, who is now coaching outside linebackers for the Trojans.
Orlando and his wife Carleen have two daughters, Gianna and Kali, who make it to all the games at Gus Anderson Field.
Coach Aaron Slocum (McDowell '98) is entering his 14th season coaching high school football and his 7th consecutive season coaching for the Trojans. As a player, Coach Slocum played for legendary McDowell Football Coach Ron Rudler and starred as both a Quarterback and a Defensive Back, Aaron rushed and threw for a 1,000 yards his senior year at McDowell, something only a few QB’s have done in District 10 history. In his junior and senior seasons, the Troans were undefeated and lost in the western finals. Coach Slocum is currently a Special Education Teacher for MTSD.
Mark Soboleski - Quarterback Coach
Hometown: Erie, PA College: BS, Gannon, marketing
MS, Edinboro, Educational Leadership
MS, Gannon University, Educational and Computing Technology
Profession: Teacher / Coach Family: Children: Madison, Abigale and Braeden
Years Coaching: 25
2017-2018 McDowell High School Quarterbacks Coach
2014-2016 General McLane High School Offensive Coordinator
2008 – 2013 McDowell High School Head Coach
2013 7 – 6, Western Quarter Finals
2012 7 – 6, Western Quarter Finals
2011 8 – 3, WPIAL Playoff Team
2010 7 – 3, WPIAL Playoff Team
2009 8 – 3, Western Quarter Finals
2008 8 – 4, Western Quarter Finals
2007 General McLane High School Varsity Assistant
2004 - 2006 Central High School · Erie, PA Head Coach
7 – 21 Combined Record
2003 McDowell High School · Millcreek, PA Assistant Head Coach
2002 McDowell High School · Millcreek, PA Special Teams
1999 – 2001 McDowell High School · Millcreek, PA Varsity Assistant
1994 – 1998 McDowell High School · Millcreek, PA Head JV/Var Assistant
Gannon University –
Football – Quarterback/Wide receiver, 2-Year Captain, 3-year Letterman
Coach Soboleski is in his 3rd stint back at McDowell high School. He has head coaching experience at both McDowell and the former Central High School. While a head coach he garnered 52 wins and led multiple teams into the playoffs. Signature wins include Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, Pittsburgh North hills, State College, PA. He also has extensive experience in the recruiting process and has helped many athletes with the transition from high school to college.
Dave Grack - Offensive Line
With over 40 years of coaching experience, Coach Grack will guide the offensive line during the 2017 season. Coach Grack previously worked under form Trojan Head Coaches Mark Soboleski, Jon Cacchione, and Ron Rudler. Considered a bit of a wordsmith, Coach Grack will be in charge of the Trojan big men once again this fall.
Justin Hall - Asst. Offensive Line
Hometown: Edinboro, Pa Degree: Computer Science
Profession: Web Application Development – Millcreek School District
Years Coaching: 5 (McDowell: 5)
2014-current: McDowell (Assistant Offensive Line Coach)
As a former player of the game, Coach Hall was an offensive lineman of the General McLane Lancers AAA State Championship team of 2006. With the taste of a Hershey Championship, he is eager to get back to the Chocolate Empire with the McDowell Trojans. Coach Hall brings extensive knowledge and firsthand experiences on and off the field to the Trojan offensive linemen.
Dave Frank - Running Back Coach
Hometown: Erie, Pa College: Gannon University Degree: Education
Profession: Teacher Family: Wife: Katie
Children Evelyn, Charlie
Years Coaching: 18 (McDowell: 1st)
2018-current: McDowell (Running Backs)
2011-2017: Seneca High School (Head Coach)
2008-2010: Fort Leboeuf High School (Offensive Line/ Defensive Line)
2007: Seneca High School (Offensive/Defenseive Asst)
2005-2006: Hickory High School, NC (Defenseive Line Coach)
2001-2004: Iroquois High School (Offensive/ Defensive Asst)
Coach Frank comes to McDowell after spending the last seven years as the Head Coach and Offensive coordinator at Seneca High School.
He engineered the most potent offense in Seneca High school history averaging 39.0 points per game in 2017.
The 2017 season also marked the first region football championship in school history.
Dave Frank concluded his stint at Seneca as the 2nd winningest coach in Seneca History (Randy Gunther).
Coach Frank was the head coach of the victorious 2017 NWPFCA North Team as well as the head coach of the winning county squad in the 76th Annual Save An Eye Game.
Chris Spooner - Co-Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Line, Kickoff
2005-08 Strong Vincent (Varsity D-Line, Recruiting)
Walsh University –
Football - Defensive End, 2-Year Captain, All Conference, 2 x Executioners Club
Coach Spooner is in his 2nd year back at McDowell after being the Head Coach at Strong Vincent HS in the programs final two years. Coach Spooner has coached for many years in the Erie area and has coached on many strong playoff teams both in the WPIAL and D-10. Coach Spooner has helped lead teams as far as the Quad A Western Finals multiple times and has coached at the highest level of PA football for many years. He has vast experience as an all-around coach but is most notable for his defense and recruiting. From a recruiting stand point Coach Spooner has helped close to 100 student athletes from all local programs get into college. He has helped student athletes get athletic scholarships and grants at all levels (D3, D2, JUCO), including multiple Division 1 Athletes at RB, OL, DL, WR, DB.
Matt Forne - Defensive Backs
Hometown: Erie, Pa College: Clarion University of Pennsylvania Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Coach Forne is entering his third year at McDowell and second as a defensive backs coach and JV defensive coordinator. In his first year as JV defensive coordinator, he helped lead the 2017 McDowell JV team to a 5-3-1 record. Coach Forne is a graduate of McDowell where he played wide receiver and safety and went on to play collegiately at Clarion University.
John Ferraro - Linebacker Coach
Hometown: Erie, Pa Profession: Corrections Officer 2 Family: Wife: Nina,
Sons: Jordan, Christian, Dominic
Years Coaching: 14 (McDowell:5)
2014-current: McDowell (assistant)
2005-2013: Strong Vincent
2017 (Defensive line, Punt team Coordinator) 2018 (Linebackers, Punt team Coordinator)
Coach Ferraro began his High school coaching career at Strong Vincent HS. During his time with the Colonels the program experienced great success, playing in three Western finals and multiple District 10 titles. Coach Ferraro has coached in numerous all star games, most recently the 2015 North / South game acting as Defensive coordinator. Since arriving at McDowell HS. Coach Ferraro has coached the defensive line and punt team coordinator the past 2 years. This year he will assume the duties of Linebackers coach and continue to coordinate the punt team. Coach Ferraro contributes experience, leadership and tireless work ethic to this staff of accomplished coaches. Note: Coach Ferraro was also a PIAA Football referee from 1999-2004.
Manny Johnson - Receiver Coach
Hometown: Chicago, Il College: Dana College Degree: Physical Education Minor in Sociology
Profession: Special Education Assistant Family: Wife: Nicole
2007-2012: Gannon University (Running Backs and Receivers)
1994-1996: Dana College (Receivers)
Bio - Playing Career
1989-1993- Dana College
1994 - Football League of Europe
1995 - NFL workouts- Carolina Panthers/ Chicago Bears
1995 - Canadian Football League- Hamilton Ti-Cats
1996 - Arena Football League - Iowa Barnstormers
2000 - CFL - Toronto Argos
1997- 2007- Indoor Football League
Chris Caldwell - Team Historian
Hometown: Erie, PA
College: Indiana PA
Degree: Culinary Arts
Profession: Route Sales Frito Lay
Family: Wife: Jill
Daughters: Claire, Kennedy, Helene
Years Coaching: 17 (McDowell 13)
2010-2011 McDowell (Defensive Coordinator)
2005-2008 Cathedral Prep (Defensive Coordinator)
2002-04 Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator
2001 Co-Defensive Coordinator
1999-2000 Receivers/Defensive Backs
1998 Freshman – Defensive Coordinator
1997 J.S. Wilson – Head Coach
1994-96 J.S. Wilson – Defensive Coordinator
Add some more info about this item...
Ned Bailey, Freshman Head Coach
Hometown: Corry, Pa
College: Edinboro University
Family: Wife: Donna
Children: Nathan, Hannah, Lucas, Rachel
Years Coaching: 34 (McDowell: 30)
2018: current McDowell 9th grade head coach
2014-2017: Harbor Creek Head Coach
1995-2013: McDowell 9th grade head coach
1990-1994: McDowell 9th grade assistant
1986-1989: McDowell Varsity assistant/JV Head Coach
1985: McDowell 9th grade assistant
Coach Bailey comes back to McDowell after spending the past 4 seasons as Harbor Creek Head Football Coach and Offensive Coordinator. At Harbor Creek he inherited a team that had won 2 games in 2 years. Bailey led the Huskies to 19 wins over his 4 seasons, culminating in a 7 win season last year. Coach Bailey has also coached the 2016 Save an Eye contest.
During his tenure as McDowell 9th grade head coach, Bailey never had a losing record and his teams compiled a cumulative record of 134-28.
Besides coaching, Coach Bailey is a respected PIAA wrestling and softball official.
He is also concluding his 30th year as a member of the McDowell
Mike Bowers - Freshman Special Teams Coordinator / Offensive Quality Control Coach
Hometown: Erie, PA College: BS, Edinboro; MS, Gannon
Profession: Teacher / Coach Family: Wife: Laurie
Children:Natalie, Andrew, and Henry
Years Coaching: 10 (McDowell: Varsity 7 Freshman 3)
A 1994 graduate of McDowell, Coach Bowers will be starting his 3rd season as a freshman coach.
Mike Brown - Freshman Defensive Line
Hometown: Buena Park, Ca College: Mercyhurst University Degree: BA in History and an MS in Secondary Education
Profession: Teacher Family: Wife: Rachel
Daughters: Allison and Ashley
Sons: Francisco and Andres
Years Coaching: 5 (McDowell: 4)
2017: McDowell (Freshman Def Line Coach)
2014-2016: McDowell (JV Def Line Coach and assistant Varsity Def Line Coach)
2013: Mercyhurst University (Assistant Def Line Coach)
Coach Brown moved to Erie in 2013 after finishing his career in the armed forces. Coach Brown took a position at Mercyhurst University as an assistant defensive line coach where he gained a wealth of knowledge and decided that he did not enjoy being away from his family 51 weeks a year, which led him to join the McDowell football program. Coach Brown served as the assistant varsity defensive line coach and JV def line coach under Coach Ferraro where he brought leadership and passion to the group of young men. In 2016 coach Brown’s JV defensive line helped defeat Cathedral Prep’s JV team by 35 points not once but twice. In 2016 coach Brown took over as the freshman defensive line coach and helped mold his defensive line into a formidable group, that held one opponent to negative yards for an entire game. Coach Brown also took over as the shotput coach for McDowell’s Track team for the indoor and outdoor 2017/18 season.