“Coach P” Leaves Staples

Marce Petroccio — one of the most successful coaches in Connecticut football history — made history today.

In a somber meeting, he told his Staples football team that he’s leaving. His new team is FCIAC rival Trumbull.

It’s also Petroccio’s alma mater. And, he says, Trumbull is the only school he’d leave Staples for.

Marce “Coach P” Petroccio

When “Coach P” arrived in Westport 25 years ago — at  31 years old — he took over a moribund program. Within 4 years the Wreckers won their first FCIAC title since Paul Lane’s in 1975. They also reached the state championship game.

Since then, Staples has appeared in 8 state finals. They won 3 titles — in 2002 (Class MM), 2004 and ’05 (Class L). They won 5 FCIAC titles in 7 appearances too.

Petroccio — also a popular physical education teacher at the high school — says he would not leave Westport for any other job. He calls Staples “a great community (with) a great administration and great kids.”

A search for a new head football coach will begin soon.

21 responses to ““Coach P” Leaves Staples

  1. Wow. What a loss for Staples. Wishing Coach P the best.

  2. Chip Stephens SHS '73

    Marce is one of the greatest men I have come to know. He is a amazing coach and mentor and has been one of those stories that few will ever get to experience with their kids. Marce you brought greatness to our high school football history with state champs, division champs and sending dozens of students on to some of the best higher education institutions.

  3. I realize that this is going to stir up a storm : perhaps this is a time to consider whether Staples should have a football team. Many towns across America, especially in the more educated communities, are dropping high school football. It comes down to brain injuries suffered by the players. Here is one link to the subject:

    ADW Staples 1956

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

      Agree wholeheartedly. Javelin as a sanctioned T&F event was forbidden at the HS level years ago due to an isolated death. l think touch football might be the salvation for the whole sport at all levels but it’ll never happen until we shit can the blood lust and the greed. At least the “Walking Dead” will not lose for players in the casting department. If there were no NFL, would there still be a Kaepernick? As to the coach? Trumbull should be careful what it wishes for. The last hometown coach that I can remember in Westport was almost run out of town even though his family owned it.

  4. I lost interest in football years ago due to evidence of brain injuries, and today due to NFL cheating. Make the sport safe and clean.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Nancy-can you also lose interest in Westport?


      • Bart — if you think that interest in the safety and fairness in school and professional sports is only common to Westport, you need to get out.

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

          Nancy, I think what Bart meant to say is that in Westport the brain injured problem is worse than on the playing field 😉

          • Bart Shuldman

            Eric-I only had one meaning-one ‘meant to say’. Please lose interest in westport. Nothing hidden.

  5. Nancy – I agree! You are so right!

  6. John G. Klinge

    OMG! This is about Coach P. and the kids he coached – not about you non-sports people. GO AWAY!

    • “non-sports people”? Quite the contrary. Interest in our athletes and their well-being and their future is the number one concern to all, whether the parents, coaches and the athletes themselves. Just speaking from experience. A team effort.

  7. Dan, honestly…can you just revoke her posting rights? Enough is enough. It’s time.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

      If all the football players (and their families) sat in the cheap seats with Nancy the concussion problem might go away without her help.

      • Robert Harrington

        So disrespectful to put all this stuff on here.

        It’s human politeness to thank any person for their service to the town, particularly someone as impactful as Coach P.

        Can’t you just do that on this feed – and move on?

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

          I am having trouble seeing what or where there has been anything stating or even implying lack of thanks for Coach P. He’s obviously left very big shoes to fill.

  8. Gerry Kuroghlian

    Thank you for your many years of mentoring young men both on and off the field. I appreciated your checking your athlete’s academic grades as well as their classroom behavior. You have left a very valuable chapter in the history of Staples High School. I wish you the best in returning to your alma mater!

  9. I spoke about you many times in public since your belief in students was in line with mine. It was as important to you to build character in young men as it was to win a game. You changed many lives during your years at Staples. Those young men will use what you taught them for years to come. Leave with your head held high.

  10. Robert Harrington

    Coach P – thanks for all your contribution to Westport and Staples over the years. You will be massively missed and tough to replace.

    You have worked with my son, George Harrington, for many years and have had an unquestionable impact on both his love of the game and the way is growing into a well rounded young man. The Harrington family – and so many others in Westport owe Coach P and his team – so very much. Thank you.

  11. This must have been a very difficult decision- Best of luck to Coach P. Go Wreckers!! The 2018 rumble w/Trumbll will be a sold out showdown!

  12. Alan Phillips

    We just lost the Vince Lombardi of HIgh School coaches.
    He made everyone better.. As an athlete.. as a football player and a person.
    Thanks for all the memories Coach P.