Matt Seneca approved by school board as Easton’s new soccer coach

It was fitting that Matt Senneca and his wife Kristyn were sitting together in the back of the room at the Easton Area School District board meeting on Tuesday night.

It was a joint decision for Seneca to fill the vacant head football coaching position at Easton, and the two shared the moment they learned that he had been unanimously approved by the board of directors as the new Red Rovers coach. bottom.

After four seasons at Whitehall, with a 17-26 record and two division titles, Seneca posted a 37-30 record in 2022, including a 3-8 record. succeeds the

It was early December when Seneca stepped down as Whitehall’s football coach after four seasons, and said it was a decision that had to be made for his family.

What happened in two and a half months to bring the 43-year-old Seneca back into the coaching ranks?

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“This job,” said Seneca. “This job has probably only been offered three times in the last 50 years. When this job started a month after I retired, my wife and I had to talk.”

And during that conversation, Christine Seneca told her husband that it was a job she couldn’t let go of.

“I was told to put my hat in the ring and see what happens,” Matt Seneca said. need to do it.”

As with real estate, location was often an issue, and it played a big role in Seneca’s decision to take the position.

While in Whitehall, he spent a good portion of his day along Route 22, teaching at East Hills Middle School from his home in Palmer Township, and continuing east on Route 22 to Whitehall. And that commute took up a good portion of his day, as traffic was terrible as usual.

“Because I’m on Route 22, I don’t have time to spend with my family, so I spent more than an hour a day in the car,” Seneca said. “I can even pick my son up and take him to practice every day.

The Seneca family has a 10-year-old son named Jackson and a 3-year-old daughter named Brynn, who currently plays soccer for Palmer Township’s youth program.

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Convenience aside, Easton Football is one of the most famous programs in all of Lehigh Valley sports. The Red Rovers are still his second winningest program in Pennsylvania football, and the annual Thanksgiving with Phillipsburg, the most-attended event in Lehigh Valley Sports each year, at his morning game. playing.

“Injecting tradition and community support is one of the most important jobs in the Lehigh Valley,” Seneca said. “This is pretty much one of the jobs on my to-do list. Like I said in an interview, being part of a community, seeing that side, seeing it from the outside as a coach on the other side, and now leaving the community. is very special to me.”

It is also special for Mrs. Seneca.

“This is his passion and what he loves,” she said. “I support what he loves and this has always been his dream. We have been married for 11 years and moved to Easton nine years ago. I dreamed of coaching at , but now the stars are aligned and I helped him get into this position.”

She said Matt wanted to attend his son’s soccer practice in Palmer Township.

“He’ll get out of Whitehall, run practice there, jump onto Route 22, and still practice Jackson,” she said. I’m going to Jackson’s practice right away.”

She said she attends the practice because her children are so close to home.

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“I teach in Building 21 in Allentown, so it was hard to make everything,” she said. “Friday night I was driving from school in Allentown to Easton’s house and back to Whitehall to play the game. is.”

Seneca, who played high school football for Allentown Central Catholic and played for Joe Paterno at Penn State, received congratulations from board members and other officials before he left the building.

It showed how important Easton football is. Superintendent David Piperata congratulated and welcomed the Seneca as soon as it was made official.

“It’s been a very competitive process and we are very pleased with the number and quality of applicants,” said Piperata. “Through that process, Manager Seneca has emerged as our frontrunner and we feel very lucky to have him on board as our new football coach and to drag him out of retirement. looks forward to being under your command.”

So does new Athletic Director Matt Baltz, who has completed his first high-profile hiring at Easton.

“This is my first big hire and I’ve been able to get a new football coach which doesn’t happen very often here,” Balz said. “Looking back, Jeff Blade was here for six seasons, Steve Siffert for 24, Bob Schreiber for 13 before that, Wayne Groove for about 12 years, and it goes all the way back to the late 1960s. So that’s just his four coaches in over 50 years.”

Bartz said it was a thorough process that led to the hiring of Seneca.

“We had multiple committees and different stakeholder groups at different levels, but he was top of the list throughout the process,” says Baltz. “Having consistency with these different groups makes me feel good that I’m making the right choices all the way through.”

Bartz said Seneca’s youth and his ability to relate to Easton’s children after serving as assistant coach at Liberty and head coach at Wilson before arriving at Whitehall were all big pluses.

“When he announced the plans for our program, we looked into the details of every aspect of the program and his understanding of what Easton is, what Easton could be, and where he wants to go. The combination of all these things made him the rest of the group when he was young,” Seneca said. “My football background with his 18 years of experience prior to taking this job puts him in a position to support him and put him in the best position for success.”

Seneca said he hopes to meet the players by the weekend and begin the process of building a staff, but said his plunge was the last day his application was accepted.

He knows that not everyone, especially his former players at Whitehall, will understand this decision.

“I know they’re going to be thrilled when we go up against Easton and I gave them a reason to do so,” Seneca said. “But as I said to some of the coaches who reached out and congratulated me at Whitehall, it’s kind of bittersweet. Kids who probably don’t understand the reasoning behind what I’m doing this.” But there’s a mystique to this place and I’m trying to be a part of the history and tradition here. It’s exciting.” Matt Seneca approved by school board as Easton’s new soccer coach

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