The high school football world is losing another coaching legend.
Dave Mattio, who spent 37 seasons at Marian Catholic, announced he is retiring from coaching Sunday in a news release issued by the school. He plans to spend more time with his wife, Jody, their five children and 14 grandchildren.
Mattio will remain on as the Spartans' athletic director.
He first started coaching at Marian Catholic as a member of the football staff in 1971 and took the reins as the Spartans' head coach in 1976. He retires as the 19th winningest coach in IHSA history (251-141). He led Marian Catholic to the Class 4A state championship in 1993 and a runnerup finish in Class 5A in 1999.
He sent a number of players into the collegiate ranks and a few into the NFL, too, the list headed by Dennis Kelly (Eagles), John Holecek (Bills), Mike Prior (Buccaneers, Colts, Packers) and Rodney Harrison (Chargers, Patriots).
"It goes without saying that spending 42 years doing something you really enjoy and appreciate is not the norm for today's society," Mattio said in the news released issued by Marian Catholic. "It has always been my belief that those who represent Marian Catholic have always been 'woven from a special cloth.'
"My thanks go to out to those great student-athletes who have so positively represented this high school in the great sport of football. Your impact on Marian Catholic High School will never be underestimated, and your influence on my life will always be treasured."
Mattio, a 1966 graduate of Marian Catholic, was inducted into the IHSA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997. He also is a member of the Marian Catholic Alumni Association Hall of Fame, East Suburban Catholic Conference Hall of Fame and was named the Frank Leahy Prep Coach of the Year in 1994.
His Spartans finished this season 1-8.
"Marian Catholic will always ben indebted to Coach Mattio for his leadership and devotion to the football program," Marian principal Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait said in the school news release. "His sincere concern for each player and undying support Marian Catholic have been hallmarks of his career.
"He has left a legacy on which another can build for continued growth of the program."