Mike Oliva achieved a goal he set for himself as a stand-out football and baseball player at Iona Prep. The 1996 Iona Prep graduate recently named varsity football coach at Irvington, his first head coaching job.
A dream of mine has been fulfilled, said Oliva, who grew up in Elmsford. My high school and college coaches had such an effect on my life. They helped shape me in all aspects of my life. I have always wanted to give back to the kids, like my coaches who supported me.
Oliva, a physical education teacher at River View High school in Nyack, comes to Irvington with coaching experience. The last three years, Oliva was the quarterbacks and defensive backfield coach at Clarkstown South in West Nyack. He spent three years at his alma mater, also as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Oliva was the defensive backfield coach at Maritime College for one year.
Even though he will make his varsity debut this fall, Oliva said he is prepared.
I have been very fortunate to have worked with some very talented head coaches, said Oliva, who was Iona Preps starting quarterback his junior and senior year. I have taken a lot from each program.
Oliva inherits a team that was 2-6 last year. He has planned out his offensive system and is currently working on his defensive approach. After meeting with his players in April, Oliva stressed to them that he wanted to make football fun.
When its football season, I want them to concentrate on football, but when the season ends, I want the boys to wrestle or play basketball in the winter and play baseball or lacrosse in the spring, said Oliva, who played football and baseball at SUNY Albany.
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