Longtime football coach leaving Roncalli
Senior staff writer
Roncalli football coach Bruce Scifres will lead more than 30,000 youths and adults beginning in June as the new executive director of the Catholic Youth Organization of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Scifres will conclude a 27-year coaching and teaching career at Roncalli at the end of the school year. He will transition into his new role by June.
“Roncalli has been my life,” Scifres said Monday in an exclusive interview with The Southsider Voice. “It will be hard to say goodbye, but it will be challenging to lead the CYO. It will be a continuation of what I have been doing all my years at Roncalli.”
Scifres stands out as one of the most successful high school football coaches in the country. He guided Roncalli to seven state championships and is one of nine coaches to win three consecutive state titles. His 1993, 1999 and 2016 teams went undefeated. His record is 248 wins (24th on Indiana’s all-time list) with only 88 losses for a 73.8 winning percentage.
“My time at Roncalli has been a blessing in my life,” Scifres said. “I’m a better man through all my associations with everyone at Roncalli – my faith is even stronger because of it.”
Scifres said his No. 1 goal with the CYO will be the same as it has been at Roncalli: faith development.
As executive director, Scifres intends to have a profound impact upon staff members, 60 schools, 24,000 youths and 7,000 volunteers in a variety of activities, including sports.
Scifres succeeds retiring Executive Director Ed Tinder, who has served as the organization’s leader for 30 years.
Scifres said his desire to reach more youths and adults in the archdiocese was shaped last year at a three-day Catholic sports ministry seminar in Cincinnati, where attendees were challenged to develop a personal mission statement.
Roncalli administrators praised him.
“Bruce is truly a master of his craft as a teacher, football coach, tactician and motivator,” Roncalli President Joe Hollowell said. “He has emerged as a statewide and national leader in the dialogue regarding the proper role of sport in the formation of young people. This position certainly seems like a great fit for Bruce, and I am certain that the youths of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will be blessed through his hard work.”
“As the parent of two former players in the football program and as principal, I frequently would tell Bruce that we could not have had a better person leading our football program,” Principal Chuck Weisenbach said. “No football coach in the state of Indiana has done a better job in leading young men and being instrumental in their development of life skills.”
Scifres is a graduate of Plainfield High School, where he was a three-sport athlete. He played football at Butler and set three rushing records. He teaches advanced physical education conditioning at Roncalli.
He and his wife, Jackie, have four children, Luke, Abby, Cal and Meggie.
Athletic director David Lauck is accepting applications for the coaching position..
(Note: Roncalli sports information director Rob Brown contributed to this article.)