Middletown’s Mark DelPercio has long established himself as one of the top high school football coaches in Delaware.
Now, he wants to coach in a state known as perhaps the most competitive in the nation: Texas.
DelPercio could not be reached immediately on Wednesday, but Salesianum’s Bill DiNardo – his friend and longtime coaching rival – confirmed that DelPercio plans to retire from Middletown High School this spring and pursue coaching opportunities in Texas.
“He came and talked to me Friday,” DiNardo said. “This is an opportunity that him and his wife [Nichol] have talked about, from what he said. … Basically, what he told me was that he was going to retire from the state, and it has always been his dream to coach football in Texas.”
DiNardo said DelPercio does not have a job lined up in the Lone Star State but may be willing to start as an assistant coach and math teacher at a large school.
“He didn’t seem too worried about a job,” DiNardo said. “He has some connections down there. He has people he knows in Texas, in the big schools.”
DelPercio has a 151-62 career coaching record in Delaware. He began his head coaching career at Glasgow, then became head coach at Middletown in 2004, when DiNardo left the Cavaliers to coach at Salesianum.
DelPercio guided Middletown to DIAA Division I state titles in 2007, 2011 and 2012. The Cavaliers have played in the D-I championship game seven times in the last 10 years – including five straight from 2010-14. Among DelPercio’s star players have been receiver Chris Godwin, who recently declared for the upcoming NFL draft after a stellar career at Penn State, and Boston College quarterback Darius Wade.
“[Coaching in Texas] has always been a dream of his, he said,” DiNardo said. “I didn’t know this. … He has some friends he’s made there throughout the years, and I think he’s excited about the whole deal.”
DelPercio’s two sons – Anthony and Vincent – played for him at Middletown. Vincent, a quarterback, graduated in 2016. Anthony, an All-State receiver, is scheduled to graduate this spring.
“I just think he’s looking for a change,” DiNardo said. “It shocked me. I’ve had to keep it under wraps all weekend.”
DiNardo guided Middletown to three consecutive Division II state titles from 1997-99, when the school was smaller. He said he is happy at Salesianum and has no interest in returning to the Cavaliers.
“It’s a great job for anybody, but you don’t go back,” DiNardo said. “You don’t do things you’ve done already. Not that it wouldn’t be a fantastic job. He’s leaving that program in great shape.”
The Cavaliers lost to Smyrna 36-14 in the Division I championship game in December. With second-team All-State quarterback Drew Fry returning for his junior season, anticipation was already building for Middletown’s 2017 season opener – a home rematch with Smyrna on Sept. 8. A new coach will add even more intrigue to the mix.
Contact Brad Myers at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ