Shawn Mangold wants to be perfectly clear. He isn’t using Cardinal O’Hara as a stepping stone to something bigger. He is here for the long haul.
Mangold is the new head coach of the Cardinal O’Hara varsity football team. Mangold, who spent the past three years as the defensive coordinator for the Tonawanda Warriors is beyond thrilled and honored to have his first varsity head coaching job.
“I’m super excited and I’m super pumped. I can’t wait to get together with the kids. I have that scheduled to come up soon,” said Mangold. “I just want to express to them my commitment, my devotion. I need to earn their trust that’s first and foremost. We’re looking to build a family oriented program. Me personally I’m just beyond excited to get this opportunity.”
Mangold knows full well that the black and gold have had their struggles in recent years.
His plan is to start from the ground up and build the Hawks back into a contender.
“One thing I can guarantee to them is they’re gonna be hard pressed to find another coach that cares about them as kids, students and players in the area,” said Mangold. “We definitely have to build a relationship in a short amount of time given how this has played out late July and the season starts (August 23).”
Step one. Connect with his players.
Though he was the starting quarterback during his days at Kenmore West (Class of 1996) Mangold has no plans to tell kids war stories about his days as a player.
He feels the best way to win their trust is utilize what he has learned and experienced on the sidelines over the past 12 years. Spending a total of 5 years with the Tonawanda Warriors, Mangold served as co-head coach for the modified team as well as one year as a volunteer assistant on varsity.
He also spent seven years coaching youth football at the Tonawanda Football Clinic.
“I hang more on what I did the last three years at Tonawanda then anything that I’ve done as a player,” he said.
Regardless of the sport it always takes a new coach a couple years to put his stamp on a program. Which means Mangold also has to strike that perfect balance between getting the underclassmen excited about the future while still making sure the seniors know they aren’t forgotten and this isn’t a throw away season by any means.
Mangold wants his seniors to know this is their team to lead. So every thing they do and say is of value to the present and future of this program.
While a lasting success is the long term plan Mangold said his plans include trying to win now. Not some time down the road.
Part of the coaching squad that helped the Warriors break their 18 game losing streak to rival North Tonawanda two seasons ago, Mangold feels he can bring that desire to win and attention to detail that was built in Tonawanda to O’Hara.
Mangold was also quick to thank Tonawanda head coach Joe Kelly for welcoming him into his coaching staff.
“He’s the one that opened the door for me there,” said Mangold. “Let me get my feet wet at the high school level. I definitely wouldn’t have this opportunity I have now if it wasn’t for him.”
Shawn Mangold loved his time with the Warriors, but now his wardrobe is heavy on the black and gold. And he could not be happier. “I live maybe a minute and a half down the road from Cardinal O’Hara. So I’m in the community,” said Mangold. “I grew up in the Town of Tonawanda. I live in the City of Tonawanda. I’ve coached for the last 12 years in Tonawanda. So as far as my commitment to the school, this isn’t a stepping stone. This isn’t just some place where I’m gonna get my feet wet and move on somewhere else. Once I’m on board with something it’s a full on 100 percent commitment. So the young kids, ninth, tenth graders, even younger, who might want to eventually come to O’Hara and do something big they need to know I’m not gonna be here for just one or two years. This is a full commitment on my part with no other future plans in sight.”
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