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Mangicaro set to retire after 34 years as coach, athletic director

— But there were two conditions to the job – (1) that Mangicaro would be allowed to continue coaching football and that (2) he could step down as athletic director after each year if he chose.

For nine years, then-superintendent John Cataldo asked Mangicaro if he wanted to stay on. And for nine years, the answer was always “yes.”

“And the rest is history,” he said.

A “people position”

Chris Gedney, a Liverpool football product under Mangicaro in the late 1980s, never intended on staying in Central New York for more than year. But after his freshman football season, Mangicaro pulled the 6-foot-3-inch, 165-pound wide receiver aside and told him to consider staying in Liverpool a little longer.

Gedney stayed, and went on to play for Syracuse University for four seasons from 1989-1992, was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the NFL draft, played seven seasons in the NFL and now works in the SU athletic department.

”He single-handedly changed the trajectory of my life,” Gedney said of Mangicaro.

After his sophomore year at Liverpool, Gedney said Mangicaro had him train with upperclassmen to stay focused on football and the team.

“I applied myself the way Coach Mang asked me to,” Gedney said. “It was certainly a pretty big springboard to what I was able to experience and accomplish later on in life.”

This idea of helping others is something Mangicaro said he also learned from his father. Whenever anyone around him was in need, Mangicaro said his father was always there to help, and growing up in that environment instilled a principle that’s stuck with him his entire life.

“That’s the way I think life should be,” he said.

When Tony Davis applied to be an assistant principal at Liverpool in 1997, Mangicaro was one on the committee that interviewed him. What struck Davis during that interview, he said, were the types of questions Mangicaro asked him.

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