Vince Suriano has climbed to the highest rung of the college football coaching ladder.
The Martins Ferry native is now on the NCAA Division I level, having recently been named the director of high school and player relations at the University of Cincinnati. He joins the staff of new head coach Tommy Tuberville, who came from Texas Tech.
Suriano authored a great success story at Cincinnati Anderson High. He took over a lackluster program and molded into a big-school Queen City powerhouse.
"Coach Tuberville is very interested in establishing a great relationship with Ohio prep coaches, especially in southwestern Ohio," Suriano said. "We want to make sure all Ohio coaches feel welcome. Coach Tuberville felt my work at Anderson and at the local colleges fit nicely into what he is looking to do.
"I talked to Coach Tuberville for about an hour along with some other coaches. They explained the job to me. They called me a day later and offered me the job," he said. "I am thrilled as is my wife. The position offers the best of both worlds. I can keep my hand in football but without the drudgery. I started Monday and we have been putting in 12 hour days."
In his role at UC, he will manage the Bearcats' on-campus recruiting program and focus on outreach and relationships with high school programs within the tri-state area.
"We are very fortunate to hire Vince into this role," Tuberville said. "His vast experience and dedication to the game of football along with his knowledge of high school football in the local community will be an invaluable resource as we continue to build our recruiting base within a 200-mile radius of UC's campus."
This past year he served as the senior offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach at Thomas More College. Suriano spent the 2011 season at the College of Mount St. Joseph, where he was full-time assistant for five seasons, including serving as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator all five years.
With his hiring at UC, Suriano completes the hat trick of coaching at all three of the football-playing colleges in Cincy.
But it was at Anderson where Suriano forged his name into the elite names of Ohio prep coaching. He held the post from 1987-2007, and what a two decades of fooball it was.
Suriano carved out a sparkling 147-61 record with three undefeated regular seasons, 12 conference championships while qualifying for the state playoffs nine times.
Such gaudy success earned Suriano induction into the Anderson High Hall of Fame in the spring of 2012.
He will also be inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June of this year.
Suriano's UC coaching gig is a brand new position created by Tuberville.
"Coach Tuberville had no one on his staff from Ohio and felt he needed an older coach from Ohio with experience to serve as a liaison between him and the high school coaches in Ohio," Suriano said.
"We recruit everyday. I will also be the program's liaison with NFL teams and also represent
Coach Tuberville at various coaching clinics. Last week I spoke for three hours at a clinic on the Pistol offense.
"I will also be the on-field coach at our summer football camps, which attract more than 2,000 participants," he added. "I will be traveling with the team on the road as well as bowl games while also making sure we stay NCAA compliant."
Prior to his successful two-decade run at Anderson, Suriano tasted success as head coach at Cadiz High. He led the Cardinals to a 21-9 mark in his three years at the helm, opening the door to the Anderson job.
Suriano, 59, was an assistant coach at Martins Ferry High from 1974-1984.
Suriano, who earned his bachelor's degree from West Liberty State College and his master's degree from the University of Dayton, is a member of the Ohio High School Coaches Association, Southwest Ohio Football Coaches Association, American Football Coaches Association, National Education/Ohio Education Association and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Suriano and his wife Crystal have two sons, Michael and Christopher, three grandchildren and live in Anderson Township in Cincinnati.
Kapral may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org