William Penn football and baseball coach Marvin Dooley said he was looking for his next challenge, and he found it in a new job at Saint Elizabeth.
Dooley was named the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Saint Elizabeth, beginning this fall.
Dooley makes the move from New Castle to Wilmington after five years at William Penn, that included winning the Division I Football Championship in 2014.
The William Penn-alum has spent over 20 years in coaching, but said after meeting with Joe Papili, who is in the process of transitioning from Athletic Director to President at Saint Elizabeth, he realized the Saint E job could be more than just the action on the gridiron.
“I got to talking about the position and told him my vision of wanting to be an athletic director and other things outside of football. He talked to me about both jobs and combining them together, and to me, that’s where it really started.”
Dooley served as football, wrestling, and baseball coach at William Penn, before giving up the wrestling role this winter, he said shifting into a more administrative role is a natural transition.
“I think some day your body may tell you can’t do things that you could do before. I already got out of wrestling, but I’m still hoping for another 10 years of football. But eventually, you won’t be able to coach again, but I always think that if you’re an athletic director you can coach coaches and build philosophies and build programs to try to give back to kids and hire the right people to build kids into people who can be positives in our community.”
While Dooley is leaving his alma mater, he has a connection to Saint Elizabeth, his daughter Courtney graduated from the school in 2008.
“I’ve always admired Saint E’s for the way they’re handled themselves and the class over the years. I believe you can win there too, so that’s a big thing for me. I always think where can you be successful, and I believe we can be successful at Saint Elizabeth High School.”
Dooley inherits a Vikings program that has hit tough times. They are coming off a 2-8 campaign, and have not finished above .500 since making the DIAA Tournament in 2012.
“I think they’re better than their record showed,” Dooley said. I’ve already watched all of their films once, if not twice. I think there’s a lot of talent there, but you’ve got to bundle that talent within a scheme that can be successful. I think some of the things I bring to the table will help them, but I believe that we can win. It will take a little bit of time, but as I told the kids, I’m not here to rebuild, I’m here to win now.”
Saying hello to Saint Elizabeth means saying goodbye to his familiar surroundings at William Penn.
“I knew driving down the road I was going to run into something I didn’t want to do. What we had at our meeting today was all of our team speeches. I’ve been up there with some big games and big game plans, and we talked and I told the kids today this was the toughest thing I was ever going to tell them. It was a sad, sad moment, but at the end of the day we tell the kids about chasing dreams, and I’m chasing mine.”
Dooley will begin the next stage of his coaching career after guiding the William Penn baseball team into this year’s postseason, the Colonials are 13-2 with a 13-game winning streak going into a game at Newark on Tuesday.