October 24th, 2010

Sartini Earns Another Honor With Poll Victory

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Sartini Earns Another Honor With Poll Victory
photo by Brooke Ballard

Providence football coach celebrated 40th season in 2010

It's been a celebration all season at Our Lady of Providence High School, as the Pioneers have continuously recognized head coach Gene Sartini's 40th season at the helm of the football program. And despite a playoff sectional loss this past Friday to Triton Central, the honors are still rolling in for southern Indiana's version of Joe Paterno.

With an overwhelming response and majority of the votes (57 percent), Sartini was chosen first in last week's LouisvilleCatholicSports.com viewer poll that asked fans to pick the local high school football coach who has had the most success. Sartini was selected over Trinity's Bob Beatty and St. Xavier's Mike Glaser.

Sartini, who originally earned a scholarship to play football at LSU, eventually played college ball for the University of Louisville, where he graduated in 1956. He attended Hammond Tech High School where he lettered in track, football (earned all-state honors), and basketball.

While he has coached at Providence for 40 years, Sartini has 46 years of total coaching experience. He was an assistant coach at Louisa, KY between 1956-1957; assistant football coach and head track coach at Flaget High School in Louisville, Ky. between 1957-1969; head football coach at Flaget in 1969; head football coach at Shawnee High School in Louisville with record of 6-4; and then took over the head coaching job at Providence in Clarksville, IN in 1971.

In 1973, Sartini was a state finalist in football and was the North-South All-Star Game coach. In 1990, he was head coach of the first Bridge Bowl Game between Southern Indiana All Stars and Louisville Kentucky Football All-Stars. In 1993 he was a state finalist again, and in 2000, he organized and head coached the Southern Indiana All-Star Classic. Sartini's Pioneer teams earned sectional championships in '82, '85, '93, and '94, as well as a regional championship in '93. Under Sartini, Providence was also semi-state champions in '73 and '93, and state runner-up in '73 and '93.

On May 8, 2004, Sartini was inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame. He is the fourth-winningest active coach and the 13th all-time winningest coach in Indiana history. During the Pioneers' final regular season home game of the 2010 season, Sartini was joined on the field at halftime by nearly 125 former players who had played under him. During that reunion, Sartini was given his first-ever Providence letterman jacket and was saluted by a packed house during the football team's game against Clarksville.


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