Four Catholic League championships.
Four District 12 titles.
Fifty-six wins and dozens of Division I scholarships.
Yes, Steve Devlin is racking up some impressive numbers.
And the Archbishop Wood High School football coach sure is making them count. As boss of the powerhouse football squad for five years now, Devlin has compiled an overall 56-11-0 record. His teams have lost only two league games.
“I want the kids to be successful on and off the field,” said Devlin. “I want them to have a great experience playing football and help them to play in college.
“I’m a big guy in helping these kids play in college and get recruited,” he added. “I really enjoy waking up on Sunday and reading about what the kids did in college football on Saturday.”
Currently, six Archbishop Wood student-athletes have accepted full scholarships to play for Division 1 programs, including Florida, Rutgers, West Virginia, Boston College and Temple University.
The senior-heavy Vikings have dominated the Catholic League this season, going 11-1 overall (3-0 league play). Archbishop Wood has outscored opponents by an astonishing 448 points and recorded four shutouts.
Wood downed Monsignor Bonner in the Catholic League Class AAA championship, 42-14, on Nov. 12, claiming its fourth consecutive league title in as many years.
“It was awesome (winning the championship). For me, the Catholic League is one of the best leagues in the state,” said Devlin. “It’s a great accomplishment to win. There’s a lot of history and tradition in the Catholic League. To win that four years in a row … that is a great accomplishment.”
Archbishop Wood’s tough performance on the field earned the squad a berth in the District 12 championship game against Dobbins on Saturday afternoon at Northeast High School.
Wood’s Vikings unleashed a beating, slamming Dobbins, 49-0, en route to their fourth consecutive district title. Senior quarterback Joey Monaghan completed 12 of 14 passes for 199 yards and four touchdowns. He connected twice with senior wide receiver Kyle Adkins, once with tight end Colin Thompson, and once with Nate Smith.
Smith, a senior wide receiver, also returned a 62-yard punt for a touchdown in the Vikings’ victory. Sophomore Kendall Singleton and senior Ryan McMullin had rushing touchdowns. Junior kicker Nick Visco was 6-for-6 in extra-point kicks.
Archbishop Wood has one week off before competing in the state quarterfinals.
“It’s incredible,” said Devlin. “It’s something these seniors can say: ‘We won four Catholic League championships and four district championships at Wood.’ That’s quite an accomplishment.”
A Somerton resident, Devlin has made himself a second home at the Warminster school during his five years with the Vikings’ varsity program.
Before joining Wood, Devlin was offensive coordinator at St. Joseph Preparatory School for eight years; the Hawks earned four Catholic League titles, including three in a row starting in 2001. In fact, Devlin coached in a Catholic League championship game every year this decade.
His coaching roots took hold in Northeast Philadelphia, where he guided the Somerton Youth Organization football program for seven years.
As a high school student, Devlin played football at Archbishop Ryan. In 1988, when Devlin was a first-team All-Catholic receiver, the Raiders won their first Catholic League championship title in school history.
Devlin graduated and went on to Lycoming College, playing with the Warriors for all four seasons and graduating in 1993.
“Being able to play and then coach helps in some ways. You’ve been through some of the experiences that they’ve been through,” explained Devlin. “You have been there, through the struggles, so you can use your experience. When you’re coaching, though, it’s a totally different game. You have to strategize.”
Devlin has proved himself among the top coaches in the game. He has been named the Philadelphia Catholic League Coach of the Year (2007, ’09, ’10) and Bucks County Coach of the Year (’07, ’08, ’09). In 2008 — after he guided Archbishop Wood to the PIAA Eastern State Championship title — Devlin was named Pennsylvania Class AAA Coach of the Year and Nike Pennsylvania Coach of the Year.
And he’s not done yet. This season offers some unfinished business for Devlin’s team.
“We’ve had a good season so far. Hopefully we still have a couple of weeks ahead of us,” he said. “We want to keep winning and playing well and stay healthy. We have a lot of great things happening — not only with wins, but with kids going on to play at major college programs.
“I love the opportunity to mold young men and to teach them about the game of football, which I consider the greatest game out there,” Devlin continued. “To see them develop and have success and move on to successful lives and careers … that’s what it’s all about.” ••
Editor Melissa Yerkov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org