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Robbins named Canisius High's new football coach

Another day, another big development in the Western New York high school football coaching world. 

Canisius has promoted Rich Robbins, who had been the school's defensive coordinator under departed coach Brandon Harris, to head coach.

Here is the complete press release issued by the school:

Rich Robbins has been named Head Coach of the Canisius High School varsity football program. Robbins, the 12th varsity coach in Crusader history, takes over the duties from Brandon Harris. Robbins’ hiring was announced by Jim Mauro, Director of Athletics.

A native of western Pennsylvania, Robbins spent one year on the Crusaders junior varsity staff and the last four years with the varsity.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to be the next Head Football Coach at Canisius High School,” Robbins said. “I truly feel blessed and would like to thank all of the people who have supported me throughout this process and appreciate the school’s confidence in my knowledge, experience, and leadership abilities, especially our Athletic Director Jim Mauro.”

Robbins was a four-sport athlete at North Allegany in high school, before moving on to Alfred University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and played football. An all-conference selection, Robbins was a two-year starter for the Saxons.

“I am very passionate about continuing the winning tradition here at Canisius, as well as focused on creating a balanced environment for our student-athletes to excel in,” stated Robbins. “One of the challenges I am looking forward to is advancing the strong football program that we have developed here over the last five years, as well as preparing these young men for the next stage of their life as an athlete, student, and citizen.”

During his four years with the varsity staff, Robbins primarily served as the team’s Defensive Coordinator. In addition, he worked with both the offensive and defensive lines. During his four years, the Crusaders have compiled a 26-15 overall record and won one Monsignor Martin championship.

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rich Robbins as our Head Football Coach,” Canisius President John Knight commented. “Rich is committed to the mission of the school and has the best interests of our students at heart. He has a strong knowledge of our school, and our football program and we are confident he will continue to move it in the right direction.”

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Promoting from within makes sense to me -- particularly considering how Harris put his stamp on the program and the big-picture progress made under the former coach. While I'm sure coach Robbins will bring his own style and approach to the job, I'd have to think that there won't be too many adjustments philosophy-wise or structure-wise. We'll have to wait and see how things go results-wise.

Robbins is not only a guy who has been around (five years with program) but he's also much more of a local guy (Western Pennsylvania native, played at Alfred) than Harris -- who came in from Arizona. 

Should be quite an interesting fall with all of the coaching changes at programs used to being among the best in Western New York in Iroquois, North Tonawanda and Canisius. There's also Bishop Timon-St. Jude and I'm sure there will be some transitions at other programs before August rolls around.

---Keith McShea


Canisius | High school football
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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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