By Greg Klein STAFF WRITER
---- — As it relates to varsity football coaches, the only constant at Cooperstown has been change.
Mark Segina, Cooperstown’s varsity coach in 2012, has left to take the same position at Unadilla Valley Central School.
Joe Pestar will take Segina’s spot in Cooperstown, giving that program its fifth coach in four years.
Though Segina coached football at Cooperstown last season, he also coached modified boys basketball and varsity track at UV.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be able to coach varsity football, modified basketball and varsity track at the same school,” Segina said of taking the football job at UV. “I also am a substitute teacher and most of my assignments are in the UV district, which also factored heavily in my decision to take the position.”
Segina’s one season at Cooperstown resulted in a 1-7 season. He said he thinks Pestar will get the program headed in the right direction.
“I’m sure that they will continue building the program off of the foundation we established last season,” said Segina. “Mostly, to my players, I’m going to miss each and every one of them and I’m very, very proud of how they worked and played last season.”
Pestar, a 1972 Richfield Springs graduate who works at Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES, was the varsity football coach for 10 years at his alma mater. He then coached JV football at Cooperstown and was an assistant for Steve Pugliese’s varsity football teams. Pugliese’s 15-year run as Cooperstown’s coach ended in 2010.
Pestar is entering his ninth year coaching JV volleyball, and has coached modified and JV softball over the past seven seasons at CCS.
He said he’s excited to get back to coaching football.
“When you are a football guy, you always miss it when you are away from it,” he said. “It never goes out of your life.”
Pestar said he was approached by school officials this summer about applying for the job.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I didn’t even know it was open.”
Now he said he wants to bring stability to a program that’s had several down years.
“That’s what I am looking for, to help the program get back on the right track,” said Pestar, whose squad will begin its season Sept. 7 at home against Waterville. “I was coaching with Stevie when he had those two really good years (2008-09). Obviously, we’d like to get it back to that level.”
Following Pugliese’s departure in 2010, Glen Noto took over in 2011 but stepped down for personal reasons in September 2011. He was replaced by assistant coach Nate Conte for the rest of that season.