Lessons Learned On and Off the Field

Football has a long history at George School. The game was introduced in 1920 by Head of School, George Walton, along with social dancing, and it became a regular sport in 1923. Head of School, Richard “Dick” McFeely coached football during his tenure (1948–1966). Mr. Dick as he was affectionately known was an outstanding football player at Swarthmore College before he contracted polio which left him with limited mobility. More than a sport, the tradition of football continues to this day.

In 2019, Dominic (Dom) Gregorio p’25 was named Head Varsity Football Coach at George School. Dom brings twenty-three years of coaching experience to the Cougars. Prior to George School, he served as defensive coordinator and Montgomery County recruiting coordinator for his alma mater, Bishop McDevitt High School in Glenside, Pennsylvania. Previously, he was the defensive line coach at Abington High School in Abington, Pennsylvania.

“Football changes you. It breaks down all walls as you must work together as one team. Football grounded me and taught me to think of others. This is what we are teaching at George School. My job is to coach players both on and off the field,” said Dom. “When I first arrived at George School, we had a team of sixteen. After walking around campus and talking to our students, we now have forty-four members on the roster.”

Dom has three goals for the team:

First–team members need to show up and be accountable. “It is not about winning or losing,” said Dom. “It is about creating a culture of accountability. Being part of the team is a responsibility that you must honor. You must show up for practice and put the time in. Otherwise, you will be letting yourself and your team down. The team needs to know they can count on each other. This is critical as it is also teaching an important life skill and preparing students for their careers.”

Second–put the work in when no-one is watching. “The only way to get better at anything is to practice, follow coaching instructions, study football, watch games, and train all year long,” explained Dom. “You cannot expect to be successful if you do not give it your all.”

Third–we want to help students get into college while developing the person and winning games in the process. “A strong athletics program can benefit students academically,” said Dom. “I have had parents come up to me to say they have noticed a change in their child and it’s because of what the team is doing together. The rigor and structure of football can give students direction and a focus. How we teach football is very different from how I was taught. The football association knew that if it did not change there would be no more football. As a result, there are many safety measures including concussion protocols which we follow. It is also why summer workouts and conditioning is so important. Players need to be physically ready before the season begins.”

“I have been very impressed with the students at George School and how respectful they are,” continued Dom. “After not being able to play last year because of COVID-19, my hope for the fall 2021 season is that we will be able to play ten games and have fun in the process. The team will also be visiting veterans in November as a way of giving back to the community.”

“After many years of not playing our rival, the Academy of the New Church, we will be playing them for our last game of the season. Come cheer on the Cougars as they end their season on Saturday, November 6 at Academy of the New Church.”