Old is new again in the Marian Catholic High School football camp.
Jerry Verde, a 1995 grad and former Spartan linebacker, was named as Marian Catholic’s new head football coach on Thursday. He replaces Dave Mattio, a Hall of Famer who retired from the coaching ranks in November.
During his playing days, Verde helped lead Marian Catholic to a 13-6 victory over Geneseo in the Class 4A state championship game in 1993. More recently, as a coach, he led Crete-Monee to a 33-26 victory over Cary-Grove in the Class 6A state title game.
“I am excited to come back to Marian and begin working on the football program,” Verde said in a Marian Catholic news release announcing his hire. “Marian Catholic has always been a special place for me. It’s a great honor being named head football coach of the Spartans after Dave Mattio’s retirement from the program.”
Mattio compiled a 251-141 mark in 37 seasons as a head coach. During three of those seasons, Verde was his starting middle linebacker. Now, Mattio will work with Verde again in his role as the Spartans’ athletic director.
“What a great Christmas present Marian Catholic received when Jerry Verde agreed to become the new head football coach,” Mattio said. “Jerry will bring an uncommon background to the Marian Catholic program, having had success at the high school and collegiate levels as a player and the same with the variety of coaching experiences that have allowed him to reach a level of excellence.
“His commitment to excellence will immediately impact the Marian Catholic community and the football program.”
Verde compiled a 56-14 record in six seasons as the head coach at Crete-Monee—highlighted by the Warriors’ run to a 14-0 mark this past fall. He also has coached previously on the Marian Catholic staff and at Homewood-Flossmoor and the University of St. Francis.
“We had many fine candidates interested in the position and are thrilled to welcome Jerry back to Marian Catholic,” said Spartan principal Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait. “He brings enthusiasm, professional expertise and dedication to our student athletes. His willingness to build on the integrity and leadership of our students, along with an understanding of our school’s tradition and previous success as a head coach, made Jerry an easy choice for us.”