Dan Skalski named new Head Football Coach at South Philadelphia High School
Written by: David Mika on Sunday, February 26th, 2023. Follow David Mika on Twitter.
On February 17th, Dan Skalski was named the new Head Football Coach at South Philadelphia High School.
Coach Skalski took time to talk to EasternPAFootball.com about his new role.
When did you officially become the new head football coach?
I was offered the position in early February, but it became official on Friday, February 17.
What is your previous coaching background?
As you may remember, I was the Head Coach of Football Operations with Prep Charter since 2018. Due to the pandemic, I struggled to find a way to get my class of 20 one last opportunity to play that year.
So the Prep Charter Athletic Director and I joined in a co-op with South Philadelphia that Spring. In teaming up with then-head coach Mike McKeen, I was titled as “Assistant Head Coach” while continuing to call the offense for our united programs.
Prior to Prep Charter HS and now South Philadelphia, I had stopped as a coach for Delaware Valley Charter HS (2016, WR coach), Father Judge (‘16, Freshman HC), and Springfield Delco (‘12-14, Freshman assistant)
What does this new role mean to you?
“First off, I am truly blessed to be given a chance to lead these young men. It is humbling to know I have a chance to continue building on the foundation that McKeen and I established three years ago. I will continue the same organization and preparation that I had done with a smaller program, now just much larger and with more support than I had previously.”
What is your focus as you build a staff?
“Experience. From my first couple years at Prep Charter to this opportunity, I realize that a supporting cast of like-minded individuals is extremely important to reinforce the firm, fair, positive culture I desire. I have joined a few remaining assistants with a couple of others I had been looking to coach together with for a few years.”
What is your philosophy as a coach?
“This is the one great caveat about being someone from an urban environment myself. If I trust you, I will always have your back. I believe that to be exactly true, maybe even to more of a degree with the young men I teach and coach. Beyond care, I want to be a model for honesty, hard effort, and integrity.”
“Firm, fair, positive. I believe rules must be in place and followed, opportunities established through merit, and for those who may make an occasional slip-up or struggle, offering positivity helps to quickly correct mistakes and move past them in order to improve.”
Where did you go to school (high school and college)?
I went to Cardinal Dougherty HS in the Olney section of Philadelphia.
For college, I attended Temple (BA) and Mississippi State Universities (BS) for my bachelor’s degrees.
Did you play football in high school and college?
“I played high school up until 11th grade at Cardinal Dougherty. And some organized football for the Lower Southampton Falcons in the late 90s. Defensive back and a backup QB.”
Do you teach and if so, what subject do you teach?
I teach Chemistry at Prep Charter HS.
I ask people all the time when I first tell them what I teach, “You don’t find many Chem teachers coaching football, do you?”
What are your thoughts about the league you will be playing in?
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of the coaches and programs in our public district. I feel we will be very competitive in our division this upcoming season. I look forward to the challenge of squaring off against a couple of coaching friends and colleagues again this year.”
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