Cardinal Mooney, Carl Pelini part ways

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN — Cardinal Mooney High School has opted not to renew the contract for athletic director and head football coach Carl Pelini, school officials announced Thursday.

Pelini, a Mooney graduate, returned to his alma mater as coach three years ago and led the Cardinals to an overall record of 9-22 over the past three seasons.

This past year, Cardinal Mooney made the playoffs as the No. 13 seed and upset both No. 4 seed Edison (45-14) and No. 5 seed Norwayne (24-17). They lost in the regional semifinals to eventual state champion South Range, 34-6. That marked the end to a 6-7 campaign.

The school is beginning a search for a new athletic director and coach, and will consider internal and external candidates, according to a media release.

In a prepared statement, Nicholas Beyer, president and principal of Cardinal Mooney High School, called the upcoming years “transformational” for the high school and said he looks forward to adding new leadership in athletics to help realize the vision to elevate academics and student life.

Beyer thanked Pelini for his “hard work and dedication to Cardinal Mooney High School.”

Pelini has had plenty of coaching stops throughout his career. He had a head coaching stint at Florida Atlantic in 2012-13 and was the interim head coach at Bowling Green in 2018.

Pelini was also the defensive coordinator under his brother, Bo Pelini, at Nebraska (2008-2011) and Youngstown State, where he had two stints, the first from 2015-2017 and then again in 2019 before returning to Cardinal Mooney.

It was Pelini’s third stint at Mooney as he attended the school and also coached as an assistant between 1987-1988. Pelini replaced PJ Fecko who went 159-80 as the Cardinals’ head coach, won four state titles, and tallied three runner-up finishes.

Pelini also tallied a head coaching record of 12-18 at Austintown Fitch between 2000-2002.



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