Annual Football Coaching Clinic Moves to Weir

Bubba Kapral Executive Sports Editor

WEIRTON — The third annual Ohio Valley Coaching Clinic is on the move.

The popular football session is the brainchild of Ohio Valley native and current Emporia State University defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo. The first two clinics were staged in Wheeling and met with solid success.

This year’s event will be held at Weir High School. It is scheduled for Thursday, March 22 from 6-9:30 p.m.

The reason for northward relocation?

“The move to Weir was brought up last year at the end of the clinic. Coach (Tony) Filberto and Coach (Troy) Fetty both talked to me after the clinic to tell me how much they enjoyed the evening and that they would be more than happy to provide the venue this year,” Nardo said. “It will be good for the clinic for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it will be a bigger space that gives us room to grow. Last year was great, but we almost ran out of seats.

“My biggest hope for this year is that we continue to grow in attendance. The more coaches that we have, the more speakers I can set up to come talk. If it keeps growing, there is no reason that we can’t make this a Saturday clinic and get 7-8 different speakers.”

Nardo has again put together an impressive group of speakers.

The current list includes:

∫ Tony Koehling — Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator at Emporia State;

∫ Tom Keane — Running Backs/H-Backs Coach at West Virginia Wesleyan;

∫ Trevor Ging — Strength & Conditioning Coach – Trinity P3 Performance.

Also agreeing to speak is new Wheeling Jesuit University head coach Zac Bruney. The former Martins Ferry and Mount Union grid star impressed last year with his clinic presentation.

“I had a lot of coaches reach out to me about speaking this year. Most of them are Ohio Valley guys who have moved away and would love to come give back to the area,” Nardo said.

Nardo will also be one of the presenters. He will be speaking on his forte — defense.

The clinic is free to all area high school coaches. Coaches are asked to RSVP by March 15.

“We at Weir High are pleased to host the Ohio Valley Coaches Clinic. It give us the opportunity to help our fellow coaches of the Ohio Valley by offering our facility,” Filberto, Weir’s head coach, said. “We feel with our location, we may also attract coaches from Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

“I have attended this clinic the past two years and have walked away with some very helpful ideas that we use in our program. This is a hands-on clinic with the opportunity to ask questions not only of the presenters, but also of our fellow coaches.”

For more information follow @CoachNardo27 on Twitter or email

“I am excited about our speakers. I hope the word gets out. Zac does a great job and presents himself very well. He will do a great job at Wheeling Jesuit. I invited his entire staff,” Nardo said. “Trevor has scripted a super resume. He was with the (Florida/Miami) Marlins for six years while also working for Ohio University, Kent State and WVU before he wanted to work closer to home.

“Tom has done an excellent job at every stop…be it at Colgate, Florida Atlantic or now at Wesleyan. He reached out and wanted to give back to the Ohio Valley. Tony is a product of Cincinnati Roger Bacon High School. He is a true offensive line coach with a great ability to develop linemen.”

Nardo, 32, has been at Emporia State for six seasons. He has helped the Hornets gain playoff berths in 2015 and 2016 while also posting three straight winning seasons, marking the first time Emporia has achieved that since joining NCAA Division II. The former St. John Central standout has been recognized as one of the top defensive coordinators at the Division II level.

Prior to his successful Emporia stint, Nardo spent a season at Missouri S&T (Formerly Missouri-Rolla). He was named the Great Lakes Football Conference Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Miners improve from a 3-8 record in 2010 to 6-5 in 2011.

The Shadyside native served as a graduate assistant at Ohio University in from 2008-2010. While at Ohio, he coached the nickel backs and outside linebackers. Nardo also served as a student coach at Ohio from 2004-08, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sport management in 2008.

His older brother, Matt, is the Inside Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Emporia State while his younger brother, Luke, currently works as a student assistant with the Ohio University football program.


John Durdines is embarking on his next football challenge. After lifting Bishop Donahue from the doldrums to an extended run of success and an OVAC championship, Durdines is now setting the groundwork to re-establish football at St. John Central. To that end, Durdines has scheduled a call-out meeting of all sixth, seventh and eighth grade boys at Bellaire St. John’s, St. Clairsville St. Mary’s, Martins Ferry St. Mary’s and Woodsfield St. Sylvester’s interested in playing football for the Fighting Irish at either the junior high and high school levels. The call-out is scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. at St. John Central in Bellaire. For those interested but cannot make the meeting, please call Durdines at (304) 215-6820.


Purdue University diver Samm Reese enjoyed a successful Big 10 Championship Meet last weekend at The Ohio State University. Reese, with extended Ohio Valley roots, finished fourth in the 3M diving competition with a personal best score, besting her previous standard by some 20 points.

She also finished seventh in the 1M diving competition. Her performance in the 3M event moved her into eighth place all-time in Purdue program history. Reese is currently the Boilermakers fourth top active scorer in the Big Ten Championships.

Samm is the daughter of Martins Ferry High graduates Don and Janie (Patrone) Reese. Her grandfather, Lee Patrone, is the former Bellaire High and WVU hoop great.


∫ I have always considered Scooter Tolzda as good as prep hoop coach as there is in the OVAC. He is enjoying another banner season, leading Meadowbrook to its third straight OVAC 4A championship. Along the way, the former River High School great pocketed career win No. 400.

∫ Speaking of River hoops, Lukas Isaly put on another highlight show in the Pilots’ OVAC championship game win. He is undoubtedly one of the finest prep hoopsters I have ever witnessed in my elongated newspaper career. I also remain amazed that he isn’t being swarmed by all Mountain Eastern Conference coaches.

∫ South Harrison grid all-stater Nick Rush will be a preferred walk-on at WVU this fall. Nick’s grandparents — Larry and Linda Rush — reside in Sherrard. Larry was recruited to play baseball at WVU for Dale Ramsburg in 1965. As fate would have it, Larry’s dad died that fall and he had to drop out of WVU to look after the family.

∫ Austyn Hartlieb, featured in last week’s column, enjoyed a successful trip to Disney World last weekend. The 11-year-old Arizona-based gymnast captured the uneven bars competition in the Presidential Classic. The massive event featured competitors from nine countries. Austyn is the daughter of Mark and Angela Hartlieb. Mark is a Bellaire native and former baseball star at St. John Central.

∫ Greg Haberfield enjoyed a fine first season as head boys’ basketball coach at Philo. He guided the Electrics to a 13-6 regular-season mark. Haberfield piloted Buckeye Local to a record 16 wins last winter, earning Eastern District Coach of the Year honors in D-II.

∫ Kudos to Chad Clutter. The John Marshall head boys’ basketball coach has done a superb job of turning the Monarchs into a winning program. Clutter inherited a four-win team just two years ago.

∫ The WVU hoops tandem of Chase Harler and Logan Routt have been named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team. Harler was a first-team honoree and Routt a second-team selection. First-team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

Bubba Kapral can be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.