Steve Devlin immediately found success when he became Archbishop Wood’s head football coach in 2007. Over his first three seasons, the Vikings went a combined 32-9 and won two Philadelphia Catholic League championships.
The Wood program took off in 2010, going 13-1 and starting a decade that would see six PIAA state championships.
Devlin, who joined Ursinus College as the defensive coordinator before the 2018 season, won five state championships, six PCL championships and seven City Titles in eight years at Wood in the 2010s. For that and much more, Devlin is the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Football Coach of the Decade.
Between 2010 and 2017, the Vikings went 100-13-1, an average of 12.5-1.625-0.125.
The decade started with 2010’s 13-1 season. Wood won its first 13 games, including a PCL 3A championship win over Cardinal O’Hara and a 3A City Title win over Dobbins, before losing to Allentown Central Catholic in the state semifinals.
The 2011 season brought home the first of Devlin’s five state championships. After losing their season opener against Pittsburgh Central Catholic, the Vikings won 14 straight games to end the year. They posted a 42-7 regular season win over St. Joseph’s Prep and a 42-14 win over Bonner in the PCL 3A championship game. After beating Dobbins for the City Title, Wood crushed its state playoff competition. The three PIAA 3A wins came by scores of 41-22, 70-14 and 52-0 in the championship game.
The Vikings went 12-3 in 2012, Devlin’s only season with more than two losses in the 2010s. Wood won the 3A Catholic League and City Title before losing to Erie Cathedral Prep, 24-14, in the state championship game.
Devlin led the Vikings back to the top in 2013, finishing 13-2 and winning 3A league, city and state titles. The dominant state playoff run included a pair of 42-14 wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals before winning the final, 22-10, over Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt.
Wood made it back-to-back 3A state championships and three in four years in 2014. The 14-1 Vikings completed the league-city-state trifecta again, beating Archbishop Ryan, Imhotep and Central Valley for each championship.
The 2015 11-1 season was a “down” year for Wood’s high standards under Devlin. The Vikings went undefeated through the regular season and beat Ryan for the 3A PCL championship, but lost to Imhotep, 20-14, in the City Title game.
The Vikings returned to the top in 2016. After starting 0-2-1 against a pair of out-of-state teams and St. Joe’s Prep, Wood won its final 11 games. The PCL, city and state 5A championship wins came against Ryan, Simon Gratz and Harrisburg. The three state playoff wins were by scores of 56-13, 37-0 and 37-10.
Devlin’s final season at Wood was 2017 and he went out on top. The 12-2 Vikings won the 5A PCL championship, 48-0, over Archbishop Ryan, the 5A City Title, 36-6, over Gratz and the 5A state championship, 49-14, over Gateway.
Wood’s offenses were always great under Devlin and his players are all over the Vikings record books. Nine of the top 10 rushing seasons in program history were during Devlin’s tenure, topped by Jarrett McClenton’s 2,191-yard, 37-touchdown year in 2014. Six of the top seven passing seasons in program history also came under Devlin, headed by Anthony Russo’s 2,452-yard, 35-touchdown year in 2015.
Devlin’s 2011 and 2014 14-win seasons are tied for the most in Wood history. Other program records include 699 points in 2011, 70 points in a single game in 2011 and 20 straight wins from 2014 to 2015.
Devlin is an Archbishop Ryan graduate and played college football at Lycoming College. He was an associated head coach and offensive coordinator at St. Joe’s Prep before becoming Wood’s head coach in 2007.
In his 11 seasons at Archbishop Wood, Devlin compiled 132-22-1 overall record with eight PCL, nine City and five state championships.
Historical Archbishop Wood information found online at tedsilary.com.