Dave Mencarini, one of Montgomery County’s winningest football coaches over the past decade, resigned from Quince Orchard to take the same position at Urbana.
Mencarini was expected to be introduced by Urbana before a varsity basketball game Tuesday night.
It would complete one of the more surprising moves in recent years by an area coach. Mencarini, who lives in Frederick County, said the decision revolved solely around being closer to his two young daughters.
“I miss my kids. My girls need their dad. This is just the best of both worlds. I get to be in the community where I live, where my girls go to school,” Mencarini said. “[Urbana] is the only place I would consider ever leaving Quince Orchard for, public or private school, in the entire state. I would never take another job anywhere else, because I love how I feel about Quince Orchard. I absolutely love and admire that place, and I always will. ”
Mencarini, 40, is a Rockville native and has spent the past 17 years coaching in Montgomery County. That included stops at Seneca Valley and Poolesville before he landed as an assistant at Quince Orchard in 2002.
He took over as head coach two years later, and the Cougars quickly became one of Maryland’s most successful programs.
Mencarini posted a 107-18 record over 10 seasons; eight times, his teams won 10 or more games.
Quince Orchard finished 10-2 in 2013, advancing to the Maryland 4A West semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Northwest. Mencarini, the 2011 All-Met Coach of the Year, will take over at Urbana for Ryan Hines, who stepped down after four seasons in December to become the school’s athletic director. Hines guided the Hawks to the 2010 4A state championship, the school’s fifth title.
“Somebody of Dave’s stature, and the résumé that he’s built and all the lives that he’s touched, it’s tremendous for us,” said Hines, who first approached Mencarini about the position in early December.
Quince Orchard Athletic Director George Awkard declined comment on Mencarini’s departure. Mencarini is the fourth Montgomery County coach to step down in the past month, following Walter Johnson’s Jon Kadi, Magruder’s Kevin Bernot and Wootton’s Tyree Spinner.
Mencarini, who teaches physical education at Quince Orchard, expects to fill the same role at Urbana next year. He plans to fill out his staff in the coming weeks, but it’s still too early to tell if any Cougars assistants will be joining him, he said. He informed his players of the decision in a meeting Tuesday morning.
The Cougars will graduate 26 seniors from their 2013 team, but return several key players, including coveted All-Met defensive lineman Adam McLean.
“It’s a major life change for me, because I’ve spent 17 years in Montgomery Public Schools,” Mencarini said. “You go from something you completely know and are comfortable with, to the unknown.”