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Inside the Headset with the AFCA

Sep 24, 2020

This week on Inside the Headset we are featuring Somers High School Head Coach and 2016 Power of Influence award recipient Tony DeMatteo's session from the AFCA Convention. Coach DeMatteo shares his beliefs about the benefits of football, discusses the significance of developing a mentorship program, and highlights the importance of leaving a lasting impact on all players.

Tony DeMatteo is currently the head coach at Somers (N.Y.) High School. Having been there 20 years, DeMatteo has a wide array of experiences, including leading the team to its first-ever state championship.

DeMatteo began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Bridgeport University, in 1964, after lettering for three years at the University of Rhode Island. After a year at Bridgeport, where DeMatteo earned his master’s degree, he went on to become an assistant coach at Roosevelt (N.Y.) High School.

With five years as an assistant at Roosevelt, DeMatteo became the head coach of the football team in 1969, where he would serve as the leader for 31 years and cement his legacy as an outstanding coach. While at Roosevelt, DeMatteo’s teams never suffered a losing season, went undefeated seven times, and were the first in the state to ever win 12 games in a season. Even after all of the on-field success, DeMatteo would tell you that the achievement he is most proud of was instituting a mentoring program and impacting the lives of players and students alike throughout his many years of service.

The program was so successful that DeMatteo successfully implemented it at Somers High School upon taking over there as the head coach and dean of students in 2000.

  • [0:35] Start of interview
  • [1:57] Promoting the good of playing football
  • [5:07] Experiencing a rise in participation
  • [6:12] Developing players to be successful later in life
  • [8:12] Why should a kid play football?
  • [13:51] Preparation and sacrifice
  • [14:40] Impacting ALL players
  • [25:56] Leadership and mentorship
  • [34:18] Engaging mothers in football
  • [44:18] Leaving a legacy with the dash between