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Five Questions for Retired Hastings Football Coach

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Hastings-on-Hudson native Joe Vaccaro has been the football coach at Hastings High School for 24 years. He played there until 1980 and has coached there in some capacity for nearly three decades.

What made you decide to step down as coach at Hastings? After 24 years as a head coach, plus four years as an assistant, it was time. It was hard to balance and do well everything I have going on. I have four-year-old triplets and they take a lot of time. I also teach science which takes a lot of time. Football is very stressful and time consuming, also very rewarding and enjoyable. I thought it was time to focus on my family and school.

What was your family's reaction when you discussed stepping down? My wife is happy that I will be home more and that we will have more time to spend together and with the kids. She also understands that football is very important to me and that I will miss it. My brother who is also a coach in the Philly area totally understands. He was a head coach but now is an assistant and he enjoys that. He also has three kids.

What is your favorite moment or fondest memory in your decades at Hastings? It is very hard to pick a favorite moment. Recently is had to be going to play at Mahopac in the championship game in 2010.

What are your plans for the immediate future? My plans for next year are to focus on school and family. I feel very relaxed right now. It is kind of nice not having to start worrying about next season.

Do you plan to coach again either at Hastings or elsewhere? It is very hard to predict the future. I can see coaching my kids at the youth level as they grow up. I love coaching football so who knows what the future will bring. I doubt that I would be a head coach again.

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