, 2014

Crissey to head
gridiron program
at Lancaster High

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

A veteran of Lancaster High's coaching staff has been named the school's new head football coach.

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Damien Crissey
Damien Crissey, a physical education teacher at Lancaster Primary School, was approved for the football position by the Lancaster school board on April 15. He replaces Fred Birchett, who resigned in November after five years.

"He is a well-deserving, very hardworking and dedicated young man," said Birchett.

Crissey, 29, has been on the LHS coaching staff for four years and has served in multiple coaching roles with the offense, defense and special teams.

He served as an assistant coach for two years at Bedford High School in Pennsylvania before coming to LPS to teach in 2009. From 2003-2007, he played left tackle at West Virginia University, where he lettered for two years.

He has also served as an assistant JV baseball coach for Lancaster and is currently the LHS assistant athletic director. Crissey is also a driver's education instructor.

"You either coach it or you allow it to happen. That's sort of my motto," said Crissey. "I'm committed to coaching instead of allowing things to happen.

"I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here," he added. "We've been very successful on offense the last couple of years."

In 2010 and 2011, Crissey organized a football camp at LHS through Concord University. He's committed to off-season training.

"I'm planning a weight-lifting meeting this week with all the kids, seventh- and eighth-graders and ninth-, tenth- and eleventh-graders," he said. "I'm trying to get the younger kids in the weight room and have better player development.

"I'm trying to find ways to get our athletes on the field, to get the best athletes we have on the field," he added. "That's my job and the job of our coaches."

Crissey's wife, Kirsten, is a kindergarten teacher at LPS. They have a six-month-old son, Elliot.

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