Mike Pettine, Sr. the legendary head coach who led the Central Bucks West football team to four PIAA titles and the father to former North Penn and Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine, Jr., died Friday at his winter home in Florida according to the Bucks County Courier Times. He was 76.
Pettine, Sr. coached CB West for 33 seasons (1967-1999) finishing with a record of 326-42-4. The Bucks reached the PIAA Class AAAA championship game five times — winning four (1991, 1997, 1998, 1999) during his tenure.
Pettine, Sr. won his final 45 games at Central Bucks West, the last a 14-13 victory over Erie Cathedral Prep in the ‘99 4A state final in Hershey. West also had a 55-game unbeaten streak under Pettine, Sr. from 1984-1989.
During his final season in 1999, Pettine, Sr. and the Bucks faced his son’s North Penn squad twice, West winning 17-7 in the regular season then again 21-0 in the District 1 final. The teams were both chronicled in documentaries that year – CB West in “The Last Game” and North Penn in ESPN’s “The Season.”
Pettine, Jr. played for his father at West and later coached under him at the Doylestown high school from 1988-1992. After two seasons as head coach at William Tennent (1995-1996), Pettine, Jr. took over at North Penn and coached the Knights for five seasons (1997-2001), starting NP’s rise to becoming one of the top programs in the state.
Pettine, Sr. won all five NP-CBW matchups between father and son — once in ’97 and twice in both ’98 and ’99. In 2001, Pettine, Sr. joined his son’s coaching staff at North Penn, with the Knights going 9-3.
Pettine,Jr. stepped down at North Penn to be a video assistant for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and later became an assistant defensive line coach and outside linebackers coach with Baltimore. He then was defensive coordinator for the New York Jets (2009-2012) and Buffalo Bills (2013) before being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for two seasons.
After Pettine, Sr. retired from West after the 1999 season, the Bucks extended their win streak to 59 games under Mike Carey — who had coached with Pettine, Sr. for 23 years — before falling to Cathedral Prep in the 2000 4A state final. The win streak remained the state’s longest until Clairton broke it in 2012.
Top Photo: Mike Pettine, Sr. (right) and North Penn head coach Mike Pettine, Jr. (left) and Drew Darrah (center) discuss plays during a North Penn football practice. Pettine, Sr., who coached Central Bucks West to 326 wins and four PIAA titles from 1967-1999, died at age 76 on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Digital First Media file photo)