Some football news: Longtime Nanuet coach Rich Conklin has been appointed to join the Clarkstown South coaching staff as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator. Conklin coached at Nanuet for 35 seasons and is the fifth-winningest coach in Section 1 history.
Here’s Adam Berger’s story:
After two seasons away from football, Rockland County’s second-winningest coach is headed back to the sidelines.
Rich Conklin, who won 218 games in 35 seasons with Nanuet, will join Mike Scarpelli’s Clarkstown South staff as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator.
The hiring still needs the approval of Clarkstown Central School District’s Board of Education, and Conklin declined to comment until that time. The board is expected to make the move official within the next two weeks.
Conklin retired after the 2010 season as one of the most successful coaches in Section 1 history, fifth on that all-time coaching wins’ list and second in Rockland to North Rockland athletic director Joe Casarella, who had 256 wins when he coached the Red Raiders.
Conklin’s path to Clarkstown South began with a happen-stance meeting with Scarpelli at a Nanuet supermarket shortly after he retired two years ago.
After exchanging pleasantries, Scarpelli brought up the idea of returning to coaching. Conklin said he promised his family he’d take at least a year off.
“Two years go by; it was November and I’m driving by Nanuet High School,” Scarpelli recalled. “I see the sign, ‘the undefeated unscored upon (1989) season.’ It just hit me. … I cannot believe that no one’s swiped this guy up yet.”
Scarpelli gave Conklin another call and this time he accepted.
“My thought was this: When are we going to get an opportunity to get a legendary football coach on our staff coaching our kids,” Scarpelli said. “That’s the way I thought about it. It’s rare.”
Between the two there is nearly a half-century’s worth of head-coaching experience. Scarpelli has been the Vikings head coach for 10 seasons, calling plays on offense during that time.
He’s excited to hand over those duties to a coach of Conklin’s pedigree. Scarpelli says the move will get the Vikings back to the fundamentals he strives for and will also allow him to better manage games in all three phases.
“Some kids on our team, their fathers played at Nanuet,” Scarpelli said. “For how succesfull he was, he just wants to be around kids, coach kids and make them better people on and off the field.”