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  • 11/02/18AC Athletics: Coach Profile - Anthony Petrelis '01

    Anthony Petrelis ‘01

    Varsity Football Head Coach

    Anthony Petrelis succeeds longtime coaching icon Serge Clivio, who retired last spring after 25 years at the helm. Coach Petrelis is a Medford native and a 2001 graduate of Arlington Catholic. During his time at AC, Anthony was a standout athlete, running track, and playing hockey and football. He is a fifth grade teacher at the McGlynn Elementary School in Medford and has been recognized as one of our nation’s top educators.

    We sat down with Coach Petrelis, who celebrated his first career win with a 43-0 victory over Mystic Valley on October 28.

    Q: You were a student at AC (class of 2001) and played football for Coach Clivio. What was that experience like?

    A: When I first came to AC, I was a hockey player, I had played it my entire life. I had never played football. When I got here, I missed the first couple weeks so I didn’t start football until 2 weeks into the season. As soon as I started playing, I fell in love with the game.

    Coach Clivio was immediately a person that I gravitated to. I bought into everything he had to say because I knew he was a genuine person. Because of this, I try to be what I say I am to our players. Key is not to pretend or wear a different mask in different situations. As soon as I met Coach Clivio, I knew that it was what it was with him.

    From there I met some of my best friends in the world playing football. Whenever you buy into something good, it produces really special things.

    Q: What’s the one thing that you really want to instill in your players?

    A: I think just accountability. Sports is such a great way of spreading positivity. I want these players to know that hard work and dedication pays off in the bigger picture of life. I have such a great job in teaching kids that the attributes you need for football are the same ones you need for life. The quicker they learn that fact as teenagers and young men, the better off they’ll be in college and throughout their life.

    It comes full circle. What I learned playing football has made me the man I am today. To be the person that’s there for other teammates and sets the example. It was done for me, and now I get to do that for my players.

    Q: You teach at Medford and were also named Teacher of the Year. Tell us about that accomplishment?

    A: I won the Milken Educator Award in 2014. It’s an award only given to 40 teachers nationally.

    I had no idea that I was winning the award even up to the moment it was presented to me at a pep rally at my school in front of my colleagues and students.

    Because of the award, I had the opportunity to work for the Department of Education through speaking engagements at colleges and other organizations.

    Q: Who’s tougher Mr. Petrelis in the classroom or Coach Petrelis on the football field?

    A: Coach Petrelis on the field. Way tougher! I think they go hand in hand but I demand more from my players on the field. I can be more vocal and challenging on the field than with my students in the classroom. On that field, I feel like I’m the best me.

    Q: Is it a challenge to balance everything in your life?

    A: I definitely choose my time more wisely! The people in my life, my wife, family, friends, they sacrifice so much during these three months in the fall because I invest so much time and energy here (practices, weekend scouting trips, etc.). I know that for the other nine months of the year, I need to be the best husband, friend, etc. that I can possibly be. I have to thank my wife for allowing me to do something that takes up a lot of my time but she does it because she understands how much it means to me. This place means so much, it’s my second home, and I want my children to be around AC and have the experience that I had here.

    All roads seem to lead me back to AC. I love coaching here because it makes me feel like I never left.

    Milken Educator Award in 2014. It’s an award only given to 40 teachers nationally.