Mooney football coach eludes police

Pelini, accused of assaulting wife, placed on administrative leave

AP Photo.... Carl Pelini

BOARDMAN — Cardinal Mooney High School head football coach Carl Pelini was being sought Monday by Boardman police on a domestic violence arrest warrant after officers responded to the family home.

In a statement issued by the school, Pelini was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. Pelini was hired as head coach in July last year.

A Boardman police report states officers were called to the 8400 block of Ivy Hill Drive at 2:39 a.m. Sunday “for a domestic between husband / wife.” A caller told police dispatch that her parents were fighting, and the father left in a white Ford Escape.

The woman told police, ” … he just hit me.”

“Cardinal Mooney High School is aware of the allegations regarding athletic director and head football coach, Carl Pelini,” the school stated.

Mike Tucci, who is on the coaching staff as an assistant, was named the interim head football coach by Mooney President Tom Maj; Jim Jablonski will continue to serve as associate athletic director.

The school’s director of communications, Vince Taddei, said the school would not share Pelini’s contract information and did not specify if his leave of absence is paid or unpaid.

According to the police report, township police were called at 2:39 a.m. Sunday to a home by a daughter, who said her mother had a black and blue eye and was bleeding.

The report states that a son in the home was awakened by a loud banging and called the woman, who answered the phone crying. The report states he went to check on the woman and saw blood on the kitchen floor.

She said she didn’t know what happened.

The report states the son tried phoning Pelini, but he did not answer, but the son saw through an iPhone application that Pelini was driving on Interstate 76 near Lake Milton at 3:14 a.m.

The report also states a daughter also was awakened to the sounds coming from the kitchen. It states police were told the wife had “bit him on the arm” and told him to leave.

The wife told police she and Pelini had an argument and said, “It all happened so fast.”

The report states she was unable to provide more information “due to her emotional state and being intoxicated.”

The woman was taken to St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital for medical treatment.

After his initial stint as Youngstown State University’s defensive coordinator between 2015-2017, Pelini spent one season as the defensive coordinator and interim head coach at Bowling Green State University. He returned to YSU in 2019.

The 1989 YSU graduate also coached at the high school level before taking over Cardinal Mooney’s program in 2020. He coached at Mooney as an assistant and was also the head coach at Austintown Fitch from 2000 to 2002. Pelini also was an assistant coach in the college ranks at Kansas State, Minnesota State, Ohio, and Nebraska.

Carl Pelini is the brother of Bo Pelini, the former YSU head coach.



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