In 1988, as a strong-armed quarterback, Bret Stover led Millersville to a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
After that breakthrough season for the Marauders, Stover, a fifth-year senior, was asked about his post-college plans.
"Right now, I wouldn't mind coaching football on a high school level," he told The Inquirer. "I think coaching would give me a chance to work with other players and help them achieve their goals."
Stover has done just that at Upper Dublin, his alma mater. He did especially well this year, guiding the Cardinals to a school-record 11 victories, their first Suburban One League American Conference title since 2010, and the semifinal round of the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoffs.
In districts, Upper Dublin, the No. 6 seed, romped to wins over No. 11 Council Rock North (48-14 score) and No. 3 West Chester Rustin (41-23) before losing to eventual champ Pennsbury (25-14).
The Cardinals (11-2) gained their first outright league championship in Stover's 12 seasons at the helm. They shared the first-place hardware in 2007, '08, and '10.
For his role in the squad's impressive and surprising run - it won nine straight after a Week 3 loss to Abington - Stover is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania football coach of the year.
Stover, who teaches health and physical education and lifeguarding at Upper Dublin, has compiled a 73-51 record.
Team of the year. St. Joseph's Prep bounced back from a slow start to capture its second straight Class AAAA state championship.
After losses to powers Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), St. Ignatius (Ohio), and St. Joseph-Montvale (N.J), the Hawks (11-3) reeled off 10 straight victories. They closed with a thrilling 49-41 triumph over District 7's Pine-Richland in Hershey.
Game of the year. The Prep's taut win over Pine-Richland. Down by 42-21, the Rams closed the gap to one in the late going. It took Olamide Zaccheaus' end-zone interception with no time remaining for the Hawks to finally escape.
Rookie of the year. Germantown Academy freshman running back Isaiah Jones rushed for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder also started at defensive back.
Shootout of the year. In Week 7, Springside Chestnut Hill outlasted host Penn Charter, 53-51. The Blue Devils (295 rushing, 274 passing) and Quakers (257, 328) combined for 1,154 scrimmage yards on a muddy grass field.
Best half. In the first half of Archbishop Wood's 56-7 romp over Bonner-Prendergast in Week 8, junior Anthony Russo threw for 370 yards and seven touchdowns.
Comeback player of the year. Pennsbury junior linebacker Luke Snyder, who missed most of last season with a leg injury, registered a team-best 118 tackles, including 38 solos. He also was a solid blocker at fullback.
Small-school player of the year. For Delco Christian, which earned the District 1 Class A title, junior running back Nazim Trammell-Wells carried 115 times for 1,554 yards (an average of 13.5 yards per carry) and 18 TDs.