WELLSBURG - Not long after Sean Blumette was named the new head football coach at Brooke High School Tuesday night after confirmation from the Brooke County Board of Education, the 1994 Serra Catholic graduate summarized his feelings about his new position.
"If they would have given me they keys, I probably would have slept in the weight room," he said.
Blumette hit the ground running this morning.
"There is no doubt we're up against it a little bit," he said. "There is no doubt it will be a little hectic here. I am going to be in the building tomorrow morning meeting with players and trying to put together a staff. I know there are the intentions of guys to stay on and I met with some of them.
"I am really thankful for all of the efforts to keep this thing going between coaches. Terry (Rea) really took the weight program and offseason program under his wing and has done an outstanding job. It is great for me and this program to have that as a starting point.
"My goal is to meet with the kids and the coaching staff and get some sort of calendar set up. We have mini-camp in about three weeks.
"I don't have time to go in and blow it all up. There will be new terminology and new ideas, but I don't anticipate many drastic changes. I will evaluate the situation and see what I have to do. We have to get the kids coming into ninth grade acclimated and we have to see what the numbers are.
"A program like Brooke has the tradition and the following in the community. I know there are guys who will want to be involved. I believe we can get this up and running pretty quickly. I would like to have the majority of the staff in place by the time we get to mini-camp.
"I know how important Brooke football is to the community. The only thing I wanted to know about Brooke was that I would have the support of the team, the board and the community."
A native of North Versailles, Pa., Blumette said his first exposure to the Brooke Bruins was while working for his uncle, Bob Wolfgang, a local printer.
He and his uncle were delivering football programs to a game pitting the Bruins against Mount Lebanon and stayed to watch. Impressed by the Bruins' performance, Blumette remarked that he would one day coach the team, he recalled.
Blumette said there are teams that coaches have always wanted to lead, some they would consider leading and others they're not interested in.
"Brooke has always been at that A level for me because of the tradition, the kind of people in the community and the kind of experience I had here years ago," he said. "When I saw the opportunity, it was just something I couldn't pass up."
Blumette leaves Waynesburg University, where he was heading into his third season as an assistant coach. He spent the first two years on the defensive side of the ball and was moved to offensive line coach for the upcoming season.
Blumette went to Waynesburg from Serra Catholic, where he spent five years on the sidelines as an assistant to head coach Rich Bowen, including his last four as the team's defensive coordinator.
"It was very, very difficult to meet with coach Shep (head coach Rick Shepas) at Waynesburg and the administration up there," said Blumette, who was also an adjunct professor of history at Waynesburg. "Waynesburg is a great institution and I had a great time up there. For the first time in my life I was confronted with a very difficult decision. I had the option to stay at Waynesburg, but the desire to be a head coach at a top level high school program like Brooke is a great opportunity and a challenge I was ready to accept.
"There is a small list of programs that would have taken me away from Waynesburg and this is one of them.
"It's been a whirlwind, to say the least. It's been a good experience so far. I am expecting nothing but the best."
Blumette has been well-traveled in his 12 years as a high school coach. Prior to his time with Bowen in the high school ranks, he spent three seasons (2002-04) at Franklin Regional, a year at Serra Catholic in 2000, a year at Geibel Catholic (1998) and he made his high school coaching debut in 1995 at Serra. He also coached the Eagles in 1996.
Blumette graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education from California University of Pa. in 1998 and earned a master's degree in education from Gannon in 2006. He also earned his principal's certification from Gannon that same year.
Blumette graduated from Serra Catholic in 1994 after spending four years as a varsity player.
"When I started off as a high school (assistant) coach, I always had those ideas that I wanted to be the guy, I wanted the chance to put my stamp on a program," he said. "I have coached under some great guys and I saw what kind of stamp they left or put on their programs over the years.
"When I look at high schools in this area, the Ohio Valley, there is a list of good, established high school football programs and Brooke is one of them. When you have a chance to apply at a school with that kind of football program, you don't pass it up."
Former coach Tom Bruney resigned March 15 after three years on the sidelines.
During Bruney's tenure, the Bruins were the 2009 and 2010 West Virginia Class AAA state runners-up, they earned the 2010 Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4A crown, and went 29-9.
"Coach Bruney deserves a lot of credit for the success he had at Brooke," said Blumette. "You can't argue with that success. But, what's past is past and we have to look forward. We have to hold onto the great tradition that Brooke has and success and build on that."
Blumette coached under Tom Nola at Serra Catholic (he is now at Clairton), Greg Botta at Franklin Regional, Rich Bowen at Serra Catholic and Shepas at Waynesburg.
"They are all great head coaches," said Blumette. "When you are a coach you always pull double duty. My last five years as a high school coach I was the defensive coordinator at Serra and my first two years at Waynesburg I was on the defensive side of the ball. I was moved to the offensive side this year. I have experience on both sides of the ball and feel comfortable on either side of the ball.
"I know this valley is just full of talent, on both sides of the river. Coming from Western Pa., this isn't anything different than what I am used to. These are working class people who really live and die with their high school football team.
"I understand that."