DuBOIS — For the second time in three months, DuBois Central Catholic finds itself with a new athletic director — and the school has once again turned to a familiar face to guide its sports programs.
Mike Erickson, the former AD at DuBois Area High School, was hired in June to replace the departed Ricky Martini and officially start in the part-time job at DCC on July 2.
Erickson’s tenure lasted roughly three months as he was hired in early September as the new athletic director at Bradford High School. Erickson stayed on at DCC though the end of September, taking over at Bradford on Oct. 1.
Central Catholic wasted little time making a new hire once Erickson made them aware he was headed to Bradford, as the school turned to Phil Esposito, a former standout athlete at Brockway who recently finished graduate school at IUP for sports management.
Esposito got his undergraduate degree in sports management at Clarion University and played football (placekicker) for the Golden Eagles.
Esposito was one of the applicants for the DCC position in the summer when Erickson has hired — a decision that ended up benefitting Esposito as he got to spend the last two of weeks of September working alongside Erickson at DCC before he moved to his full-time position in Bradford.
“I’m pretty excited for the opportunity that happened,” said Esposito. “Originally, the job was open in June, and it was between Mike Erickson and myself. Obviously, with his experience and credentials he was going to get it.
“Then things happened to fall in place with with me finishing grad school in August and me being offered the job a month later (when Erickson left). He threw his two weeks (notice) in, and that’s when they hired me. So, I had two weeks with Mike, and I can’t thank him enough for helping me and just showing me how to run things.
“It’s hard for him to teach me everything about athletic directing in two weeks, but he taught me as much as he could. Being from the area, I knew of him (when at DuBois), and I think he’s probably one of the best ADs in the area.
“To get to learn from him was great, and without him, it would have been completely different just walking in here. it would have been a lot more stressful, that’s for sure.”
Outside of knowing Erickson, Esposito also knows a lot of people at DCC from his playing days as a three-sport athlete at Brockway and from being a part of his father Rich Esposito’s coaching staff for the Brockway boys soccer team in recent years.
He also got to know a lot of players in the area sports scene at different levels during his college days while doing three different internships alongside Brockway High School Athletic Director Peter Grecco, Penn State DuBois Athletic Director Ken Nellis and Clarion University Athletic Director Wendy Snodgrass.
“A lot of people have asked me about getting a job at a rival high school,” said Esposito. “I’ve told them in high school, you have that rivalry, but when it comes to finding a job it’s all about business.
“This is a great place, and everyone is excited I’m here. And, I think it’s easier that they know me, and I know them pretty well too.”
DuBois Central Catholic headmaster Gretchen Caruso is excited to have Esposito on board as the new athletic director.
“DCC is so pleased to welcome Phil Esposito to our athletic department,” said said. “He comes to us with a fresh perspective and willingness to work hard and move our sports programs forward.”
As for Esposito, he feels his internship with Grecco will really aide him as he moves forward in his first athletic director’s role at the high school level.
“I also got to meet and introduce myself to a lot of the ADs when I did my internship with Peter (Grecco). I think that also will help me adapt being a first job because I already know a lot of the ADs I’ll be working with, and they got to know me a little too.”
Esposito has been flying solo at DCC since Oct. 1 and said he’s already settled in.
“I have that first week by myself done, and things are going well,” he said. “The hardest part is just finding that first job, and I was lucky enough to find it a month after grad school and close to home.
“It might be part time, but I’m going to get to work with a lot of great people and I plan on taking full advantage of it. I’ve already learned a lot and know I have lot more to learn.”