On Tuesday morning, the Spring Grove School District announced that longtime football coach Gregg Trone had retired after 20 seasons. You can find our coverage of Trone’s decision to step down, including his reaction, here.
At the time of his retirement, Trone was the YAIAA’s third-longest-tenured active head coach, behind only South Western’s Don Seidenstricker (25 years) and Central York’s Brad Livingston (29 years). That means those three coaches squared off against each other in Division I play every year for the last two decades.
On Tuesday, I got Seidenstricker and Livingston’s take on their coaching colleague…
First up is Seidenstricker, who has quite the past with Trone. They met while growing up in Hanover, and eventually graduated from Hanover High in 1974. Both were members of the Nighthawks football team — Seidenstricker the quarterback and Trone a two-way lineman.
Needless to say, Seidenstricker had nothing up good things to say about his friend.
“His program and his teams have always reflected his character,” Seidenstricker said. “High degree of integrity. Extremely principled. I don’t thing Gregg would have compromised his principles at any time for another point on the board.
“While I’m sure like all of us Gregg had his critics, I can tell you that from an opposition standout, you always had to prepare for a team that was going to play you hard for four quarters.”
Seidenstricker said the two coaches talked every week or two during the season, often about opponents or just to bounce ideas off each other.
“We often joked about who was going to be the first to go, and I guess he beat me to the punch,” Seidenstricker said. “I’ll miss seeing him across the field.”
Livingston, meanwhile, said that despite playing Trone every year, he only got to know the former Rockets coach recently.
“We developed quite a rivalry over the years. It got fairly heated at times,” Livingston said. “The nicest part of it was that as time went by and Gregg and I got to know each other, I found him to be a very delightful person.
“I respect him a lot, and I really like just being around him and talking to him.
“I always thought his kids were just physically tough and they played the whole game. When you went to play at Spring Grove, it was a tough place to play. Those kids played hard and Gregg was a big reason for that.”