Milio aims to keep Bambies on right path

Dan Milio, Megan Matulewicz and Taylor Otto celebrate after winning the Catholic League championship in June. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

At the time, Dan Milio started coaching to be a good father.

It turned out he’s also a good coach.

It all began when Milio’s eldest daughter, Paige was playing softball for the Holy Terrors, so he started helping out any way he could.

“I was just doing it to help, like a lot of fathers do,” said Milio, who played soccer at Frankford. “It wasn’t my sport, I just did it for her. But then I started coaching her along and I really liked it, so I started coaching other teams.”

Now he’s the head coach of the defending Catholic League champs.

Milio was hired by St. Hubert High School to be the new coach of the Bambies. He replaces Dave Schafer, a longtime coach who guided Hubert to five Catholic League crowns and had the Bambies playing at an elite level. Schafer resigned from coaching softball, but he’ll continue to lead the Hubert’s basketball team.

Milio is no stranger to coaching in the Catholic League. He was the head man at Little Flower from 2013 to 2016. He also knows the Bambies very well, having served as an assistant under Schafer for the last three campaigns. And Milio was learning as much as the players during those seasons.

“Whenever (Schafer) spoke, I listened very closely,” Milio said. “He is such a good coach, he’s great coach, he handles the players great.

“Last year, people had us for dead when we lost a couple games early, but he was able to keep everything together and we won the championship. He was a big reason for that. He just handles the team so well, and I tried to learn a lot from him.”

It helps that he has the blessing of the former coach.

When he was hired, Schafer, and Don Schafer, the team’s other assistant coach, both reached out with support. And should he need them, they’ll always be there.

“They were both so great about this,” Milio said. “I was kind of surprised when they decided to give it up because I know how much they love it, but if I need anything, they’ll be there. That means everything. Dave is a legend.”

Just because the Bambies will have a new coach for the first time in more than two decades, there’s no reason to think anything changes, especially the way the coach treats the players.

“Dan is a really good coach, I remember when he coached Little Flower and we played against him, and I’ve known from when he’s been with us,” said Megan Matulewicz, a 2007 graduate of Hubert who was a JV coach under Schafer, but will coach varsity this year with Milio. “The biggest thing he does is he cares about his players. I know that’s what made Coach Schafer so good. They both preach the family aspect of the game.”

Matulewicz and Taylor Otto will both serve as varsity assistants and both have the same experiences under Schafer that Milio had.

“We always wondered what would happen when (Schafer) would give up the team, nobody wanted it to happen, but we thought about what would happen,” Matulewicz said. “But I’m really glad if it’s going to happen, we have Dan to take over. He’s going to do great.”

Milio knows all about the family values it takes to coach. He has four children, Paige, 22, Kaitlyn, 19, Abigale, 16, and David, 10, and a girlfriend, Amy Davenport. They’ve all been very supportive of his new job.

He knows replacing Schafer won’t be easy, but it’s a challenge he thinks he’s up for.

“We have good players, and they’re ready to get to work when we need to,” Milio said. “I’m proud to coach them. We have great support from the school. I just want to keep the program in the same direction that Coach Schafer had it going in. He’s a great coach, and I hope to use what I’ve learned from him.”