Dave Mencarini, Quince Orchard High School's football coach for the past decade, stepped down from the position on Tuesday to take over as coach of Urbana High School in Frederick County.
Mencarini, 40, said he took the position so he could spend more time with his two daughters. The longtime Montgomery County coach lives within two miles from Urbana and said the new job improved his “quality of life.”
“I love using the sport of football to develop young men, and I miss my kids,” said Mencarini, who was introduced as coach before an Urbana basketball game on Tuesday. “My girls need their dad around a little bit more and here I get the best of both worlds. I get to coach one of the elite programs in the state and I get to be with my family.”
Mencarini coached in Montgomery County for 17 seasons, working at Seneca Valley and Poolesville before joining Quince Orchard as an assistant in 2002. The Rockville native was promoted to head coach in 2004, starting a 10-year campaign that included an undefeated season and Class 4A state title in 2007 and state championship appearances in 2011 and 2012. He compiled a 107-18 record, finishing above .500 each year and winning a playoff game in nine of 10 seasons. He was named Maryland coach of the year in 2007 and was The Gazette's Coach of the Year in 2011.
The Cougars went 40-58 from 1994-2003 in the 10 years before Mencarini took over.
“I'm just most proud about the fact that Quince Orchard is considered one of the state's elite programs,” Mencarini said. “Ten years ago it was a laughingstock and in 10 years it's become synonymous with excellence.”
Quince Orchard went 10-2 this fall, losing in the 4A West Region final to Northwest, the 2013 state champions.
Mencarini replaces Urbana coach Ryan Hines, who was named the school's athletic director in December.
Mencarini worked in Montgomery County as a physical education teacher before taking charge of the “career college research and development” program. He said he believes there is a teaching position available at Urbana and that it is “still getting all worked out.”
Quince Orchard Athletic Director George Awkard did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.