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Sisinni Officially Named New Weir Football Coach

WEIRTON — Frank Sisinni always wanted to be a high school head football coach ever since his father coached him in Pee Wee football.

And, Sisinni could not have asked for a better situation at a better time in a better place. He was officially hired as the new Weir High football coach with the board approving Monday.

“First and foremost, I’m very humbled and honored to be the head coach at such an iconic football program in the Ohio Valley and the state of West Virginia,” Sisinni said. “Weir High’s an extraordinary place with a lot of history. Football started here in 1923, so we’ll be celebrating 100 years soon. It’s exciting.”

Sisinni replaces Tony Filberto, who retired in January. Sisinni was part of the group that brought success back to the Red Riders.

Not long after Filberto retired, Sisinni jumped at the opportunity and was among five other candidates.

“When he retired, it was disappointing because he brought so much to the program,” Sisinni said. “I knew this was something I wanted to do. It’s been a lifelong dream to lead a football program because I love the game all the way back since my father coached me in Pee Wee football, all the way to playing with my twin brother and all the way to playing at Fairmont State.

“I was tempted to become a head coach at some point. I didn’t realize that it was going to happen the way it happened and how fast it came. Once the opportunity was there, I didn’t have to think very long. I knew it was my time to take a shot at it.”

During Sisinni’s time as an assistant with the Red Riders, they reached the playoffs in five-consecutive seasons from 2014-18, including a trip to the Class AA state semifinals in the last year.

Sisinni is a Weir High guy, even though he graduated from Brooke High School. His mother graduated from Weir High, and her side of the family all are Red Riders.

Sisinni was a three-year letterman and was a part of the 1987 Class AAA state championship Bruin team that season. He later played college football at Fairmont State University and graduated from Liberty State College.

His coaching career began as a junior varsity coach in 1994 with the Follansbee City League. He was head coach of Follansbee Middle School in 1998 before joining the Brooke freshman squad the following year. He was an assistant with Brooke High from 2000-01.

For one year, Sisinni crossed state borders and was part of the Big Red coaching staff in 2002. After taking 2003 off, he joined the Bruins once again from 2004-2010. After taking another year off, he joined the Red Riders in 2012.

“We’ve had a lot of success here the last eight years here,” Sisinni said. “He (Filberto) has that reputation of turning around programs, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that. It was very fun to be part of a rebuild.”

Sisinni will be part of another rebuild this year, most likely.

The Red Riders missed the playoffs last year and lost nearly every starter from the last playoff run. Still, Sisinni remains confident with a young bunch mixing in with seniors Anthony DiMatteis, Gage Reitter, Logan Walters, Kasper Moreria, Levi Hostuttler, Jordan Brueck and Ethan Cummins.

Also, Sisinni gets his first crack as the grid boss against one of the team’s biggest rivals in Oak Glen.

“That one’s always circled on the calendar for obvious reasons,” he said. “Coach (Ted) Arneault has done such a great job up there. I hope I can get things going the way he has. They’re in line to have another great season. That game’s always special. For us this year, it’s at home, so that’ll be a benefit. For me, that would be a huge step in the right direction (to win).”

Along with assisting the football team, Sisinni was the head softball coach since 2016. His fifth season was a wash due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it did give him more time to focus on the interview process. He did not have to lead one team to success, while interviewing for another at the same time.

“That was one issue that could’ve happened once coach Filberto decided he was going to retire,” Sisinni said. “I knew I wanted to take a shot, so I made the (softball) players aware of it. With the pandemic going on, I guess that was one of the blessings to come out of it. I don’t even know if I can call it a blessing. Either way, it wouldn’t have interrupted anything with the girls.”

Because of the pandemic, Sisinni added that every meeting was done virtually. He will be busy on his computer again in the upcoming weeks.

“Priority No. 1 is getting my coaching staff together,” he said. “I’ve already been in touch with the seniors. We’ll end up having virtual meeting with the kids. Those are the first couple of things I will be doing.”

Sisinni resides in Weirton with his wife, Jennifer, who is the principal at Brooke Middle School.

With the pandemic ongoing, the Sisinnis can celebrate a positive, and that’s a lifelong dream coming to fruition. After Monday, it is back to work.

“This is a special opportunity, and I just want to keep building on what coach Filberto put in place,” Sisinni said. “I want to provide our community something that they can be proud of every Friday night. We want to compete on the highest level for championships. We want success to happen on and off the field for these student-athletes. We want these guys to be better young men because they play for Weir High. That’s something that’s been established since we came here (in 2012).”

SHINE FOR 2020 SENIORS

Due to schools closing this year, Weir High will shine its lights at Jimmy Carey Stadium at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. It will be a respectful drive through to honor the Class of 2020. Sisinni said he will try to provide lights from the fire department to shine the softball field, which is right next to the stadium.

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