The Ostaszewski name has meant a lot to Archbishop Ryan High School.
Now, it means even more.
Mark Ostaszewski, the son of two Ryan grads and the brother of four outstanding softball players, is the new football coach at the school.
Oh, and he was a pretty good athlete while playing for the Raiders, too, starting three years on the football team (three at safety, two at quarterback) and a four-year All-Catholic goalie on the lacrosse team.
He’s been coaching since he got out of Ryan in 2014, first at Calvary, where he won a championship while playing for his father. He later went to La Salle, where he was an assistant coaching the running backs, and finally last year, when he was the quarterbacks coach at his alma mater. There, he coached under Bill Murphy who stepped down earlier this year.
Now, he’s calling the shots.
“It means a lot, I’m very excited for the opportunity and no better place to start my coaching career,” said Ostaszewski, who works for Local 542 as a heavy equipment operator. “I grew up right behind the school. My dad is in the hall of fame for football. I played Calvary sports all my life, my four sisters were all softball players at the school. I grew up playing there, three years varsity at safety and junior and senior, quarterback. And I played lacrosse, we were pretty good.
“This job, it’s all about the kids. Murph built a culture, there’s a lot of good kids. But we’re going to change the culture and keep adding to it. It’s a great program. I’m proud to be the coach.”
He’s not coming alone, either.
While coaching at La Salle, he learned under Joe Wade, who was the Explorers’ offensive coordinator.
“I’m young, but I have guys like Lee Marvel and Joe and guys I can lean on, talk to and help me a lot,” he said. “Murph had a great staff in place, I’m keeping everyone, everyone is coming back, adding a few guys, we’ll see who else, but we have a really good staff that I’m excited to work with.
“We are going to change the culture, push them to compete and get better 1 percent every day. These kids need to get better, not just in football but in life. We’ll push them outside their comfort zone, environment where it’s competition.”
While Ostaszewski has quite the staff, he’s also learned a lot from the coaches he played under.
First and foremost would be his father, who won a championship as a running back at Ryan. He also coached Ostaszewski to his first championship at Calvary.
He also learned from former Ryan coach Frank McArdle, who is now a chief rival as the coach at Father Judge. Expect the intense rivalry to continue, but Ostaszewski is thankful for all his coach did for him.
“I learned so much from him and the culture he had at Ryan,” Ostaszewski said. “The culture he set, we had a real tight brotherhood under him, I have nothing but respect for him. I know he’s at Judge but I still like him and I respect him.”
Ostaszewski loves what he has coming back.
Last year, Ryan finished 6-5 with a tough schedule. The Raiders did graduate some great players, but a lot are back and he believes there’s plenty of potential.
It’s not easy winning anywhere, but it’s even tougher when you’re coaching in the Catholic League. Ryan might not win a championship next year, but there’s little doubt they’ll be ready to play when the whistle blows in August.
“The goal is to get better,” said Ostaszewski, who rearranged his work schedule to make time for practice. “To continue what Murph built, and you know, we have goals to win PCL and win a state championship in the coming years. We want to build back the Ryan culture in the dominant ’90s when my dad was there.
“We’re excited to start working. It’s a great group of kids and we got a staff I’m really confident in. I’m excited, it’s a great opportunity.”
He’s not the only one who’s excited.
“I believe the Archbishop Ryan football program has gained momentum over the past few years on the field and in the community and will take the next step under Mark and his staff,” said athletic director Joe Zeglinski. “We are looking to compete for PCL and state championships in the near future but more importantly we want to develop our boys into respectful well-rounded young men in the Ryan tradition; that part of it was evident in speaking with Mark and his staff.”
This isn’t the only new coach who will be at Ryan this fall.
The girls soccer team is now under the leadership of Megan Manion, a 2013 graduate who played under current boys coach Ryan Haney. She takes over for Scarlett Walsh, who resigned after the season.