Vince Gildea Coaches First PVC Football Team (in 1944)

Vince Gildea Coaches First PVC Football Team (in 1944)
(Valley Gazette, October 1993)

If going to the movies to see big bands and listen to swing music didn’t turn you on and sports was your bag then maybe you hustled over to Coaldale to see what was going on at 4th and Lehigh Streets on Wednesday, October 11, 1944.

A new football team was being formed in the Valley and it was taking candidates from St. Ann’s in Lansford, St. Mary’s in Coaldale and St. Jerome’s in Tamaqua.

That was the night that those three schools combined all the talent they had, 50 candidates, to form the new “Panther Valley Catholic (PVC) High School” football team under the tutelage of Vince Gildea as the first head coach.

Vince was a former quarterback for the Coaldale Big Green semi-pro football team and a coach at St. Mary’s.

From that jointure would eventually come Marian Catholic High School, a present-day power among all high school teams in the coal regions and all over the state of Pennsylvania. But that was still many years in the future.