George Curry, who coached Berwick, Pa., to the top spot in the USA TODAY Super 25 football rankings three times, is coming out of retirement to coach again at Berwick.
Curry, 68, has a career record of 413-93-5 (.813), putting him fifth on the national wins list. He last coached at Wyoming Valley West (Plymouth, Pa.) in 2008.
The position at Berwick came open when coach (and athletics director) Gary Campbell resigned Monday.
"I never thought I would be doing this again," Curry said. "I was down in Ocean City (N.J.) when I got a call on my cell from Gary and he said he was leaving. He said the coaches, most of the guys who were my assistants before, wanted me back. Some of the board members felt the same way. They couldn't advertise and get a coach this late, and I still have my playbook."
When Curry retired from Berwick in 2005, he said it was for health reasons.
"I've had cancer, elbow surgery, knee surgery, eye surgery and hand surgery," Curry said. "When I decided I had coached enough after 41 years, my health wasn't that good. Now, I'm fired up. I've lost 70 pounds in the past five years, I work out every day and my doctors say I'm in good shape."
Berwick finished 9-3 last year. Curry's grandson, C.J., is one of the candidates to start at quarterback this season. Curry's son, Coz, is one of the team's assistants. Aug. 13 is the first official day of practice.
"When I went into football season in the past, I was extremely organized," Curry said. "Everybody got their package, their playbook, early. I'm not ready yet, but I'm scratching my belly trying to get there. I woke up at 5 a.m. to update my playbook. We can get it done."
Curry coached six state champions at Berwick, and he said there's no reason the Bulldogs can't be competitive at the state level again.
"To get to the state championship level, you have to have talent and get kids to play better than they are — and that's mental. That's where we have to develop players. Some people call it the winning attitude. We just have to get it."
The Bulldogs finished the season atop the Super 25 in 1983, the second year for the rankings. Berwick again finished No. 1 in 1992 with quarterback Dave Robbins, who went on to Boston College and again with Robbins' cousin, Jeremy Chapin, in 1995. The Bulldogs won 41 games in a row from 1994-97.