One magical season and Adam Tardif knew his destiny.
The Lackawanna coach, whose first day on the job was Monday, was introduced to coaching in an enviable way, as a volunteer assistant for the Steelers under coach Bill Moore in 1998. Talk about perfect timing.
The bright-eyed assistant had a sideline view as the Steelers went 13-0 capturing a second consecutive New York State Class B title.
Fast forward 13 years and the Lackawanna program is his.
Experiencing that 1998 season is something Tardif has drawn from during his last four years as Lackawanna's defensive coordinator and six years prior with the junior varsity.
"That's one of the reasons I'm coaching is that was such a great year," said Tardif. "Being around such a talented high school football team Ñ we had guys at every position. We won in overtime at Springville. We won using a fake punt against Harrison. There was something about that season."
State titles are tough to come by, but Tardif is prepared to do what it takes to carry on Steeler tradition.
"With any new endeavor you never know how the kids are going to respond to you as the head coach," he said. "But the staff has stuck together over the years and it all seems pretty normal. But you never know who's going to be there and what's going to happen."
---Mary Jo Monnin