football Edit

Coccoli Steps Down at Nansemond River

David Coccoli has decided to step aside as Head Football Coach at Nansemond River after guiding the Warriors to a regional title
Matthew Hatfield

After guiding the Warriors to the Class 5, Region A Championship last November as a #4 seed, David Coccoli has decided to step down as the Head Football Coach at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk.

Coccoli cited personal reasons for his decision to depart from the sidelines at Nansemond River. He arrived there in 2014, replacing Tracey Parker, who went 19-52 in seven seasons at the helm.

“I’ve got a lot going on with two young kids and I’ll be getting my school administrative degree that I’ll be finishing up this summer," Coccoli stated.

"It just got to a point where I’m being pulled in too many directions and I felt it was time to step aside. No better time to do that then after the most successful season the school has ever had."

Before last season, Nansemond River had not won a playoff game since 1995. In four seasons with the Warriors, Coccoli compiled a record of 27-20 overall. That was highlighted by last year's 9-5 finish and run to the Class 5 State Semifinals, where they jumped out to a 10-0 lead before falling to eventual three-time State Champion Highland Springs, 28-18.

The Warriors began the 2017 campaign just 4-4 overall before winning five in a row, including upending top-seeded Indian River 35-21 in the regional semifinals. They then won at Salem of Virginia Beach, 28-27 in overtime, to capture the regional title.

Coccoli, 37, graduated from Warwick High School in Newport News, then went on to play College Football at Christopher Newport University. His coaching career started at his alma mater, Warwick High, where he served as an assistant for six seasons.

Prior to his arrival at Nansemond River, Coccoli had orchestrated a couple of different re-building efforts at Forest Park and Manassas Park. He guided Manassas Park to a 7-4 mark and postseason berth in his final season there and had another playoff run while with Forest Park when they made it to the 6A-South Region semifinals in 2013, bowing out to Oscar Smith. That 9-4 record marked the school's first ever winning season.

Although he doesn't anticipate returning to the sidelines, Coccoli is leaving the door ajar for a possible return one day, should the time and situation be right.

“I want to get into administration. That is my next job I would say. Once I finish this degree in August, it’s time to give that a shot. But you never know. You never say never. So we’ll see.”

Eight players from last season's Nansemond River football team accepted scholarships to play in college, headlined by linebacker Gerard Stringer, who signed with East Carolina.

Matthew Hatfield
serves as Publisher for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network, and is a regular contributor to the ACC Sports Journal. Check out Hatfield’s Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail hatfieldsports2k4@yahoo.com, and don’t forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10 AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1.